Germany and Taiwan: Bilateral relations

21.03.2023 - Article

Germany does not maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan. However, Taiwan and Germany are important partners; they share values and enjoy close and substantial economic, cultural, scientific and academic relations. Numerous visits, especially from the parliamentary sphere, also help to deepen exchanges.

German interests are attended to by the German Institute in Taipei. Moreover, Taiwan is home to the Goethe-Institut in Taipei, the German Trade Office Taipei and a Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI) office.

There is also a German Academic Exchange Service Information Center. The German School Taipei forms part of the Taipei European School.

Taiwan maintains unofficial missions in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Frankfurt, and has a science and innovation officer in Bonn.

Taiwan is Germany’s fifth most important trading partner in Asia. Conversely, Germany is Taiwan’s most important trading partner in the European Union. Some 300 German businesses are active in Taiwan. Cooperation on renewable energies and technologies of the future in particular has intensified in recent years. Both sides have broad experience in these areas and regard them as having great potential.

Scientific and academic relations are likewise diverse. There are more than 200 partnership agreements between universities and research institutions, as well as lively academic exchange.

The double taxation agreement, an agreement to combat customs fraud and agreements on cooperation on battery research, energy transition issues and self-driving vehicles, as well as the cooperation agreed in 2019 on addressing the past, also underpin Germany’s efforts to further expand cooperation with Taiwan. These agreements were supplemented in December 2019 by a memorandum of understanding on the mutual recognition of driving licences. In 2020, the two sides agreed to introduce automated border controls, and in July 2021 a Joint Declaration of Intent on air services was signed.

Germany advocates Taiwan’s specialised participation in international organisations like the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2022, Germany’s Federal Minister of Health Dr Karl Lauterbach for the first time explicitly called for Taiwan to be included in the World Health Assembly. In 2020, Taiwan donated medical protective equipment to Germany on a number of occasions and made an important and exemplary contribution to fighting the pandemic at global level.

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