Diplomatic envoys from the two nations visited the country this week, with talks centred on growing the relationship they have as development partners.
Foreign Affairs secretary Tepaeru Herrmann said: “With the Cook Islands graduating to a high-level income country in 2020, partners such as Canada and Germany are well placed to assist, where we might request, with necessary economic diversification of the Cook Islands.”
Germany is the largest contributor to the European Development Fund (EDF), the main instrument for the European Union’s aid development co-operation in the Pacific, Caribbean and African nations, which the Cook Islands draws support from for infrastructure projects.
This is the fourth visit to the islands by ambassador of Germany to New Zealand and the Cook Islands Gerhard Thiedemann since his diplomatic accreditation in 2016.
A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says diplomatic relations were established in 2002 and Thiedemann has been working closely with the ministry over the past few years, especially through the Cook Islands High Commission in Wellington, the German Society for International Co-operation, the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative, and the Fund.
Herrmann said the Pa Enua also benefits from the support from Germany through its contributions to regional development funding.
Foreign Affairs also acknowledged the strengthening of ties through the appointment of local lawyer Heinz Matysik as Germany’s honorary consul in the Cook Islands six months ago, during Thiedemann’s last visit.
“The appointment of Heinz Matysik during the tenure of ambassador Thiedemann avails a further avenue for supporting growth in economic co-operation between our countries, including in the tourism sphere, and we look forward to building on those initiatives with ambassador Thiedemann’s replacement to be announced in the coming weeks,” said the ministry.
Meanwhile, Canada’s high commissioner to New Zealand Mario Bot has also been visiting, with a number of courtesy calls to government officials.
Herrmann said that through her ministry, the government is continually pursuing diplomatic relations with Canada and she hoped this would bear fruit sooner rather than later.