Germany and Taiwan: Bilateral relations

18.03.2024 - Article

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

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. In July 2021, a Joint Declaration of Intent on air services and in March 2023, a memorandum of understanding in the area of legal assistance and another in the area of science and research were signed.

Germany advocates Taiwan’s specialised participation in international organisations such as the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2022, for the first time, Federal Minister of Health Dr Karl Lauterbach explicitly called for Taiwan to be included in the WHO at the World Health Assembly.

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