Official political relations started with the establishment of diplomatic relations by the Federal Republic of Germany immediately after the Philippines gained independence in 1956; the German Democratic Republic established diplomatic relations with the country in 1973.
After the end of the Marcos dictatorship in 1986, the Philippines became more important for German companies; from around 2010, the country then became significantly more attractive once again for the German business sector. With a very young average population, which is largely English-speaking, the Philippines has developed into a globally leading location for outsourced company services and is also becoming increasingly important as a manufacturing location.
The Philippines is an important country of origin in the world for shipping crews of all ranks and Filipino sailors thus play a key role in German merchant shipping. In recent years Filipino nurses have been recruited to work in Germany.
The country’s main economic partners are in East Asia (China, Japan and Korea) and the United States. Among EU Member States, Germany is the Philippines’ largest trade and investment partner.
The German Government works with the Philippines on many different fields, ranging from collaboration on climate change mitigation, help with disaster risk reduction and peacekeeping in the politically unstable south Filipino island of Mindanao to joint German-Filipino research projects and cultural exchange.
German traders were active in the Philippines as far back as the 1880s, thus making people aware of Germany. The very active Deutsche Club Manila, which was founded in 1906, the German European School Manila and the Goethe-Institut ensure that Germany retains a high profile in the country today.