Germany in briefGermany in brief
Major cities: Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt
Official language: German
Population: 80.8 million
Religion: Protestant 28.9%, Roman Catholic 29.9%, Muslim 5%
Area: 137,970 square miles
Number of Korean expats: 27,000
Diplomatic relations begin
Official relations started 1883 with the signing of a Korea-Germany friendship and trade treaty. Relations strengthened after the 1960s, when Koreans came to Germany to work as miners and nurses.
Germany-Korea trade is robust
Korea is Germany's third biggest trading partner in Asia, and Germany is the largest partner for Korea in Europe.
German exports to Korea last year reached $21.3 billion. Imported goods and services from Korea were worth $7.5 billion.
The main trading products are machinery and automobiles, chemicals and electronic equipment. However, demand for agricultural products from Germany has been on the rise. Germany is the second largest exporter of pork meat to Korea. Beer exports have seen tremendous growth, increasing by 85 percent in 2013 alone.
Some 500 German companies are active in Korea, employing roughly 100,000 people. Many have made investments in various fields ranging from the car industry to electronics, totalling almost $9.5 billion.
At the same time, roughly 160 Korean companies have a presence in Germany, many of them around Frankfurt. They employ approximately 6,000 people.
German ambassador to Korea
Ambassador Rolf Mafael has been at the German Embassy in Seoul since July 2012. He studied law from 1974 to 1980 in Heidelberg and Berlin. After his bar exam, he worked as a prosecutor in Mannheim and joined the German Foreign Service in 1985. Following assignments at the German Embassies in Geneva and Tehran, as well as the European Commission and the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany at NATO in Brussels, he returned as deputy European correspondent to Berlin. After another assignment in Tokyo, he served as head of the Division for European Coordination and deputy director general for European affairs.
Christina Mafael was born in Mannheim, Germany, which is near the village that Ambassador Mafael is from, Baden. She and the ambassador have five sons, the youngest who is 18 and recently graduated from high school in Korea. She received her high school diploma in 1980 in Mannheim and studied medicine at Heidelberg University, the oldest university in Germany. She accompanied her husband, with their children, to all postings, including Geneva, Tehran, Brussels, Berlin, Tokyo and Seoul.