Germany and Kuwait: Bilateral relations

12.03.2024 - Article

Germany is highly regarded in Kuwait as a major political and economic force in Europe and as a country that has traditionally maintained good relations with the Arab world. This is demonstrated by the numerous high-level political visits to Kuwait by top German politicians in recent years. Most recently, Minister of State Tobias Lindner travelled to Kuwait in November 2022 to build on bilateral relations. Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister visited Berlin in March 2022. In 2024, Germany and Kuwait will mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

Germany remained one of Kuwait’s most important EU trading partners in 2022 (trade volume in 2021: 1.034 billion euro, in 2022: 1.158 billion euro, of which German exports totalled 1.104 billion euro). In the overall ranking of all trade partners for imports, Germany was in 7th place in 2022 (3.94 percent of all imports), not least because of the marked increases among Asian countries, above all China (Kuwait’s top import partner with 18.7 percent).

For 2023, end-of-year results are expected to be around the level of the previous year. The main exports from Germany were vehicles and vehicle parts, machinery and electrical goods as well as pharmaceutical products. The substantial state investment from Kuwait in Germany totals approximately 17.4 billion euro. Kuwait has shares in leading German companies (including Daimler AG and GEA). In addition, private investment (for example, Weinig AG and Ricosta) amounts to around 14.6 billion euro.

The bilateral cultural agreement that entered into force in 1989 forms the framework for cultural cooperation. There are cooperation arrangements with the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main and the University of Göttingen.

The German School was not reopened after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990/91. In autumn 2016, an American-German school was opened, where lessons are taught in English, German and Arabic in line with the US curriculum. The school has a kindergarten. Otherwise, the children of German employees and specialists have been mainly reliant on international schools modelled on the British, American or French education systems. The British School of Kuwait, which offers German instruction from year five onwards, has been part of the Schools: Partners for the Future initiative (PASCH) since 2009.

German cultural intermediaries, schools and political foundations have no direct representation in Kuwait.

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