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Bangladesh–Germany relations


Bangladesh–Germany relations

Bangladesh-Germany relations



Bangladesh–Germany relations refer to bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Germany. Germany maintains an embassy in Dhaka,[1] and Bangladesh has an embassy in Berlin.[2]


  • History 1
  • Cultural 2
  • German Aid in Bangladesh 3
  • Trade and Investment 4
  • State Visits 5
  • Defense Cooperation 6
  • References 7


After the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, East Germany was the third country in the world, and the first country in Europe, to officially recognise Bangladesh in 1972.[3] After establishment of diplomatic relations, the bilateral relations between the two countries began to grow steadily.

Germany is a reliable partner of Bangladesh in development cooperation. Since independence, German churches and numerous non-governmental organisation (NGOs) made tremendous efforts to promote the social and economic development of Bangladesh. German assistance to Bangladesh is received in the form of development efforts, trade and cultural cooperation.Both countries have a long and successful bilateral relationship on most international issues. Germany always emphasises the democratic characteristics, governance issues and development process of Bangladesh. Both Germany and Bangladesh share common views on many international issues in the UN and in other international fora. They have maintained and developed close and friendly relations in a wide range of fields. The two countries are held together by their commitment to various sectors mutually agreed upon, which is expected to be strengthened further in future.[4]


The German and Bengali people has a century-old cultural exchange history. German interest in the culture of Bengal dates back to the visits to Germany by the Bengali national poet and Nobel laureate for literature Rabindranath Tagore in the 1920s and 1930s. Many Bangladeshi writers, artist and philosopher take a keen and informed interest in German literature, art, architecture and philosophy.[5] Rapidly increasing contacts amongst German and Bangladeshi artists, primarily in fine arts, photography, film and theatre are well appreciated from both countries .[5] On 6 October 2010 Deutsche Welle (DW), officially launched its programmes in Bengali using the FM frequencies of the state-run radio station Bangladesh Betar .[6]

The cultural cooperation between both countries is mainly channeled through the Goethe Institute that work on developing the cultural ties by sponsoring local and German cultural activities.[7] It is also one of the main meeting place for all those interested in Germany. To exchange experience in primary education section an innovative programme called "Schools: Partners for the Future," was introduced by the Goethe Institute, which allows the primary school teacher training in Germany.[5]

German Aid in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a priority partner country of German Development Cooperation (GTZ). By an agreement between both the government adopted in May 2004, the activities of the GTZ focus on three priority areas -- healthcare including family planning, economic reform and development of the market system through promotion of private sector, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and renewable energies. Another new dimension of German assistance is with regard to the use of renewable energies. GTZ will provide funds and assistance for up to 380,000 solar home systems and 60,000 domestic biogas plants in remote areas until 2012. [8]

Trade and Investment

As an economic power as well as an important member of the European Union (EU), Germany is a reliable partner of Bangladesh in development co-operation.

In trade with Germany, Bangladesh has for years recorded a large surplus. Germany is the second largest export market of Bangladesh after the US. Bilateral trade is with about 4.5 billion euros in 2012.[9] About 94% of the exports from Bangladesh to Germany are RMGs and Bangladesh imports mainly comprising machinery, chemical and electrical goods, and medicines. A German-Bangladeshi investment promotion and protection agreement has been in force since 1986 and a bilateral double taxation accord since 1993. So far German direct investments in Bangladesh are almost € 60 million. The Bangladesh-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BGCCI)[10] acts as a business platform and mediator between both the countries.

Germany is the second largest export market for Bangladesh after the United States. Between 2007 and 2010 the imports from Bangladesh as the German exports rose continuously. 95 % of imports from Bangladesh to Germany are Ready Made Garments. Far behind are leather goods and food with 1,3 and 1,4 percent. German Exports to Bangladesh are mostly machines (46 %), chemicals and electronic goods (18 % and 14 %). German ship-owners are producing ships in Bangladesh since a couple of years. German stock of direct investment is mostly within the sectors of textile, transport, logistics and building materials; the tendency is rising.Bangladesh German bilateral trade is worth over $5 billions, weighted heavily in Bangladesh’s favour. Exports to Germany are worth $4.3 billions, and imports from Germany are worth $691 millions. Over 90% of exports are RMG, so there is an opportunity to diversify, for example through light‐engineering. Imports are more diverse, but capital machinery is key – machinery, boilers, electrical machinery etc. worth $350m. Germany is Bangladesh’s #1 advanced western supplier, ahead of USA. [11]

A German-Bangladeshi investment promotion and protection agreement has been in force since 1986, and a bilateral double taxation accord since 1993.[12]

State Visits

In 25 October 2011 the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina met German chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany, on a four-day official visit to attend the World Health Summit 2011, along with a meeting on the two nations.[13] The former President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Christian Wulff, visited Bangladesh from 28 November to 30 November 2011 accompanied by Members of the German Parliament, State Secretaries of the German Foreign Office and the German Ministry for Economics and Technology as well as a high-level business delegation.[14]

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has ended his first-ever visit to Bangladesh with promises of assistance to a country which has become strategically important to Berlin. Westerwelle may have recalled their faces as he stood in a five-star hotel that evening to deliver his speech commemorating 40 years of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and Germany. [15]

Defense Cooperation

Bangladesh Ordinance Factory manufacture Heckler & Koch G3 automatic rifle under license from Heckler & Koch.


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