Germany and Sri Lanka: Bilateral relations

28.02.2024 - Article

Germany and Sri Lanka have maintained diplomatic relations since 1953. The long-standing cooperation is constructive and amicable, and there is a lively exchange between the two countries.

Germany is engaged in Sri Lanka in a variety of ways – including through the Goethe-Institut, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the development cooperation organisation GIZ, the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry as well as political foundations – and is respected and valued as a reliable partner. Long-standing development cooperation and bilateral programmes are focused on reconciliation and social integration, as well as vocational education and training, health and nature conservation, with a geographical focus on the regions which were affected by the civil war, namely the north and north-east of the country. Under the German Government policy guidelines on the Indo-Pacific region, Germany and Sri Lanka cooperate on maritime security and work together to strengthen a rules-based maritime order in the Indian Ocean.

Human rights, democracy and good governance are the focus of numerous civil society projects run by German organisations in cooperation with local partners. The political foundations are also engaged in this field. Indeed, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation has even had an office in Colombo since 2016.

In 2022, bilateral trade with Sri Lanka was worth 1.1 billion euro. Germany is an important market for Sri Lanka and Germans make up a significant number of the country’s foreign tourists. In March 2018, the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry established a Delegate Office of German Industry and Commerce in Colombo in order to foster and expand commercial ties with Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka-Germany Business Council, founded in 1999, also works to bolster bilateral economic relations.


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