Germany was one of the first European countries to recognise Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan in 1972, establishing diplomatic relations, and is respected as its second-largest export market and a reliable donor.
The priorities of German development cooperation with Bangladesh include climate and energy, good governance, displacement and migration, vocational education and training, and sustainable supply chains. A particular focus is on promoting adequate working conditions as well as compliance with environmental standards in the textile industry. Germany also provides humanitarian assistance to support the Rohingya who have fled from Myanmar. At the political level, Germany is campaigning for a sustainable solution in Bangladesh as long as the conditions for a voluntary, safe and dignified return of the Rohingya to Myanmar are not in place.
Germany is one of the biggest export markets for Bangladesh. The two countries’ bilateral trade volume (approximately 11 billion euro in 2022) is growing steadily. This is encouraged by EU tariff preferences granted under the Everything but Arms arrangement. Over 90 percent of Bangladeshi exports to Germany are textiles. Deep-frozen foodstuffs and leather products are also exported. Meanwhile, Bangladesh imports machinery as well as chemical products and electrical goods from Germany.
In recent years, the number of Bangladeshi students attending German universities has steadily increased. Interest in German as a foreign language is also growing in Bangladesh. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and other organisations award numerous scholarships to students and young researchers each year in order to promote academic exchange between the two countries. Many of these scholarship recipients join alumni associations.
In bilateral talks Germany and Bangladesh regularly discuss the rule of law, democracy and human rights.