Last updated in March 2018
Germany does not maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan. German interests are looked after by the German Institute in Taipei.
Other German institutions in Taiwan are the Goethe-Institut in Taipei, the German Trade Office Taipei run by the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) and a Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI) office.
In addition, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) runs an Information Centre in Taiwan. There is also the German School Taipei which, along with a French and a British section, is integrated into the Taipei European School.
Taiwan maintains unofficial missions in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Frankfurt. It also has a science and innovation officer working in Bonn.
Bilateral relations are good and intensive. There are approximately 1750 Taiwanese studying in Germany, around 250 German companies operating in Taiwan and some 1600 German citizens living in Taiwan. The German Institute in Taipei and a number of other institutions have been active on the island for many years. These include the Goethe-Institut (since 1963), the German School Taipei (since 1990), the German Trade Office Taipei (since 1981) and the DAAD (since the 1950s, with an Information Centre since 2000). In addition, according to the German Rectors’ Conference, there are at present 224 German-Taiwanese university partnerships.
Taiwan is Germany’s fifth most important trading partner in Asia (behind Hong Kong) and ranks 33rd among Germany’s trading partners worldwide. Conversely, Germany is Taiwan’s most important trading partner in the European Union. German companies are active in virtually all sectors in Taiwan and have frequently had a presence on the island for many years. Quite often, these business relations have a direct connection to China, where Taiwan is one of the main foreign investors. Taiwan is interested in Germany’s evolving energy policy and the resulting development of green technologies.
On the scientific and academic front, too, there continues to be a deepening of German-Taiwanese contacts on future-oriented issues such as urbanisation, ageing societies, the environment and renewable energies.
Since 2008, five Taiwanese Schools of Excellence have been members of the Federal Foreign Office’s Schools: Partners for the Future initiative (PASCH). Fifteen additional schools are participating in the Goethe-Klassenzimmer project mentored by the Goethe-Institut, and German is offered as a second foreign language at 95 of Taiwan’s secondary schools. There are currently more than 5000 secondary school students learning German in Taiwan, putting German in fourth place among foreign languages taught on the island, behind English, Japanese and French. In addition, German courses are offered at many universities and private language schools as well as at the Goethe-Institut in Taipei. In 2015, the Taiwanese Ministry of Education and the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK) signed a memorandum of understanding for expanded cooperation in the education sector.
Since 2010, Germany has offered a Working Holiday Programme for young Taiwanese and Germans. Currently, each year some 300 young adults (aged to 18 and 30) from Taiwan and around 100 from Germany take advantage of this opportunity.
The double taxation agreement, which was signed in 2011 and has since entered into force, and agreements to combat customs fraud and on the transfer of offenders also reflect Germany’s efforts to further expand cooperation with Taiwan in the business, cultural and education sectors as well as in science and research.
This text is intended as a source of basic information. It is regularly updated. No liability can be accepted for the accuracy or completeness of its contents.