Last updated in Februar 2018
Germany and Samoa have a long tradition of relations. Owing to the colonial legacy, Germany’s presence is, even today, still felt more strongly in Samoa than in almost any other Pacific state. Diplomatic relations were established on 18 May 1972.
Samoa’s Prime Minister, the Hon. Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, visited Berlin and Potsdam at the invitation of Federal Chancellor Merkel in the run-up to the Copenhagen Conference in late 2009.
On 28 January 2014, the Federal President received the former Head of State of the Independent State of Samoa, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, in Berlin.
Samoan interests in Germany are looked after by the Samoan Embassy in Brussels (Belgium) and German interests in Samoa by the German Embassy in Wellington (New Zealand) and the German Honorary Consul in Apia.
Samoa used to be a priority partner country of German development cooperation in the Pacific, with Germany long ranking fourth among the major donor countries, after Australia, Japan and New Zealand. Development cooperation now takes place within the framework of the European Union. For the period 2008-2013, the EU earmarked EUR 47.85 million in funding for development cooperation projects with Samoa.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is conducting a variety of projects in the Pacific states that also benefit Samoa. The regional project Adapting to Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region iss designed to strengthen the capacity for adapting to climate change in the region by provides consulting services. A total of EUR 40.465 million in funding is being made available for the duration of the project, which runs until the end of 2018.
With EUR 2.3 million in funding from the Federal Environment Ministry’s International Climate Initiative, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) supported a number of projects from 2009 to 2014, including a mangrove protection scheme in Samoa.
Germany is continuing its bilateral engagement in Samoa, in particular by promoting microprojects that benefit schools and local government.
In the immediate wake of the devastating tsunami on 29 September 2009, in which a total of 149 people lost their lives, Germany pledged humanitarian aid totalling EUR 100,000. The funds, distributed via the non-governmental organisation Oxfam New Zealand, were used for a project to rehabilitate the water supply in villages hit by the tsunami.
Under a trilateral project with New Zealand’s National Archives, Germany helped Samoa’s National Archives to build capacities for digitalising and conserving historical materials. The necessary equipment was made available to the Samoan National Archives and the archives’ staff received training in archiving techniques and operation of the equipment. In June 2009, the head of Samoa’s National Archives and National Museum visited the German Federal Archives and various ethnological museums in Germany as well as holding talks at the Federal Foreign Office.
In 2012, the Federal Foreign Office funded an exhibition on German-Pacific relations from the colonial era to the present, which was held in Apia/Samoa.
According to Federal Statistical Office figures, in 2016 Samoan exports to Germany were worth EUR 0.4 million and Samoan imports from Germany EUR 1.2 million.