Last updated in March 2016
Diplomatic relations date back as far as 26 June 1979.
A Tuvaluan government delegation headed by Finance Minister Bikenibeu Paeniu visited Germany in January 2005, the first such visit in a long time. Tuvalu’s then Prime Minister Apisai Ielemia travelled to Berlin and Potsdam at the invitation of Federal Chancellor Merkel in the run-up to the Copenhagen Conference in late 2009.
German development cooperation with Tuvalu takes the form of microprojects. In recent years, Tuvalu has received help in procuring IT equipment. A women’s project in the agricultural sector has been supported. In addition, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is conducting a variety of projects in the Pacific states that also benefit Tuvalu. The ongoing regional project Adapting to Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region, which is scheduled to run from 2009 to 2015 and provides consulting services, is designed to strengthen the capacity for adapting to climate change in the region. Funding totalling EUR 40.465 million is being made available for the duration of the project, which is due run until the end of 2018. Germany also contributes to Tuvalu’s development through its payments to the EU’s European Development Fund.
Bilateral trade with Germany is fairly insignificant and no statistics are kept. International Monetary Fund estimates for 2012 put Tuvalu’s total exports to Germany (mainly copra and fish) at AUD 400,000 and its total imports from Germany at AUD 17.8 million.
Maritime shipping is also a very important sector for Tuvalu. Several hundred Tuvaluan merchant seamen sail on vessels under the German flag and make a significant contribution to Tuvalu’s economy with their remittances. German shipping companies run a recruitment office in Funafuti.