BONN, SEPT. 8 -- The two Germanys agreed today to intensify bilateral contacts in fields such as travel and sports, but they achieved no breakthroughs on major human rights or disarmament issues at the end of the official portion of the landmark visit to West Germany by East German chief of state Erich Honecker.

A joint communique, issued after more than 12 hours of talks between Honecker and West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, made clear that the talks had lived up to their advance billing of being important primarily as a symbolic gesture of good will between the two German states.

Honecker agreed to try to do more to make it easier for East Germans to travel to the West. His communist government also agreed to ease restrictions slightly on the import of published materials, recording tapes and videocassettes.

But the two sides agreed to disagree about the Berlin Wall, the shooting of would-be escapers from East Germany, the possibility for future reunification and how to reduce short-range nuclear missile arsenals.

"In fundamental questions, we are still far apart. No one could have expected anything else," Kohl said in a speech released before delivery tonight.

He added, "We have been able to achieve progress for the benefit of the people in Germany."

Honecker, in his speech, said that his visit had proved "fruitful" so far.

Both leaders, who maintained a wary reserve toward each other in joint appearances, stuck closely to previously made plans during the first two days of the five-day visit.

Agreement was reached before the trip on most of the language in the communique. Kohl, as expected, accepted an invitation from Honecker to visit East Germany at a date to be set later.

"There were no surprises," a West German official said.

The smoothness of the first part of the visit resulted largely from an overall compromise on the terms of the trip, political observers said.

Bonn granted a major concession by receiving Honecker yesterday with nearly all of the honors normally given to a foreign statesman, even though West Germany officially does not view East Germany as a foreign country.

Honecker agreed to come even though Bonn rebuffed East Germany's desire that a visit should be accompanied by signing of agreements on disarmament issues or other major topics.

Instead, ministers of the two governments signed three long-planned bilateral agreements on nuclear safety, environmental protection, and scientific and technological cooperation.

The start of the visit also has been characterized by a deeply ambivalent popular response to Honecker among West Germans.

Bonn officials and newspaper commentators said that it was "painful" to welcome the man who presided over construction of the Berlin Wall. But they said that it was necessary to do so, in order to gain influence with the East German government and thus contribute to an improvement in lives of citizens there.

Friedhelm Kemna, editor of the Bonn daily General-Anzeiger, wrote in an editorial that West Germany had paid "a high price" when a military band played the East German national anthem at yesterday's welcoming ceremonies.

"Both sides are aware that this is a very difficult enterprise, which kindles mixed emotions," chancellery minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said. He told a news conference that Bonn placed great importance on Honecker's agreement to lower travel barriers, particularly for East German citizens below retirement age who have found it difficult to leave to visit West Germany. He predicted that East Germany would permit 1.2 million such visits this year -- double the number in 1986 and more than 10 times as many as in 1985.

The joint communique said Kohl and Honecker "reaffirmed the intention to strive for further improvements and facilitations" regarding travel.

Bonn's press office took the unusual step of announcing that East Germany had agreed to allow the import of nonpolitical published materials, such as technical or professional periodicals. Schaeuble said that East Germany still would severely restrict the import of western news publications.

The two leaders agreed to take unspecified steps to expand tourism and trade, improve inter-German railway travel, promote youth and sports exchanges and help reunite divided families.

They had "a frank exchange of views" on human rights issues, the communique said. Neither side indicated publicly any progress toward changing border guards' orders to shoot people trying to cross the Berlin Wall or the border between the two Germanys.