Relations between Germany and Spain have traditionally been close and friendly. According to the Federal Statistical Office, around 176,000 Spaniards live in Germany, while some 139,000 Germans were resident in Spain in 2018.
The two countries enjoy a close bilateral dialogue. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas visited Spain in 2018, and Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz visited the country in 2019. Consultations regularly take place at senior official level.
Germany is Spain’s second‑largest trading partner after France, and ranks first among suppliers of the country’s imports. German firms continued to benefit in 2018 from strong demand for investment goods and consumer durables.
Germany is also a major direct investor in Spain. According to Bundesbank figures, 1313 German companies have subsidiaries or holdings in Spain, many with their own production facilities. Tourism also plays an important role in bilateral economic relations. In 2018, 11.4 million Germans visited Spain, making Germans the second‑largest group of tourists.
Spain will be the Guest of Honour at Frankfurter Buchmesse – Frankfurt Book Fair in 2021. The country has been one of the three most important international licensing partners for German book publishers for several years. The Goethe‑Institut promotes cultural exchange from its offices in Madrid and Barcelona. Spain currently has 23 schools in the Schools: Partners for the Future programme, a worldwide network of schools funded by the Federal Foreign Office, including seven German schools abroad that receive financial support and personnel from Germany. Pupils at these schools can obtain the German higher education entrance qualification (Abitur). The German Archaeological Institute has a Department in Madrid, which is responsible for Spain, Portugal and North Africa. The German Academic Exchange Service opened an Information Centre in Madrid in November 2011 and funds nine lectureships at Spanish universities.