Last updated in November 2018
The two countries have a long tradition of friendly relations. On 1 November 1876, the German Empire signed a friendship treaty with Tonga. The Federal Republic of Germany established diplomatic relations with the island nation in 1976. The Treaty on Friendly Relations and Co-operation between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Kingdom of Tonga entered into force on 2 January 1978. The two countries do not maintain embassies in each other’s capitals. The German Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand, is responsible for Tonga, while Tonga’s mission in London is responsible for Germany.
Germany’s economic relations with Tonga are modest. According to Federal Statistical Office figures, Germany’s imports from Tonga in 2017 totalled 29,000 euros and its exports to Tonga 114,000 euros. This puts Tonga in 213th place among Germany’s import partners and in 221st place among its export partners.
Tonga benefits from Germany’s development cooperation engagement in the region. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), in cooperation with regional and local partners, is implementing a regional programme focused on adapting to climate change, a regional project aimed at protecting the biodiversity of the oceans and coastal areas, as well as other projects.
The then President of the German Bundestag, Norbert Lammert, visited Tonga in September 2016 to attend a church service commemorating 140 years of friendship between Tonga and Germany. A grant agreement regarding the installation of a solar roof at a hospital in Vava’u – a project funded by the Federal Foreign Office ‒ was also signed in his presence. The solar roof was officially inaugurated in July 2017 in a ceremony attended by the German Ambassador in Wellington.
Germany also supports the development of the Pacific island nation through its contributions to the European Development Fund (EDF). In the past, it has implemented additional microprojects in the spheres of infrastructure, education and vocational training, as well as health.
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