Germany and Singapore enjoy excellent bilateral relations, which are underlined by high‑level political visits (state visit by the President of Singapore to Germany in December 2019 and by the Federal President to Singapore in 2017, attendance by the Federal Minister of Defence at the Shangri‑La Dialogue in 2018, visits by Land Minister‑Presidents and Ministers, and visits by members of parliament). Prime Minister Lee last met Federal Chancellor Merkel at the G20 Summit in Hamburg in 2017.
The two countries agree on many important foreign policy issues (including multilateralism, a rules‑based international order, free world trade, climate protection and the fight against terrorism). The German and Singaporean Foreign Ministers issued a joint declaration in New York in September 2018, while a German‑Singaporean declaration aimed at intensifying cooperation in various fields was signed by the two Heads of Government in 2005. Both countries’ Foreign Ministers play an active role in the Alliance for Multilateralism.
Germany and Singapore are important to each other as trade partners. Singapore’s exports to Germany were worth approximately €5.7 billion in 2019, while German exports to Singapore amounted to €87.3 billion. In 2018, German direct investments in Singapore totalled €13.3 billion. Around 1850 German companies are registered in Singapore, more than 500 of which are members of the Singaporean‑German Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Investment promotion agencies in Germany (including Germany Trade & Invest and the Singapore Business Forum) and in Singapore (including the Economic Development Board and Enterprise Singapore) ensure that there is intensive exchange in both directions. Singapore hosts a large number of trade fairs, many of which include large stands by German companies. Collaboration on technologies of the future has a particularly high profile. The Industrial Transformation ASIA‑PACIFIC (ITAP) trade fair organised by Deutsche Messe took place for the second time in Singapore in October 2019. In 2020, all trade fairs after the Singapore Airshow in February have been cancelled until further notice. New ways of holding digital, hybrid fairs are currently being developed and tested.
A bilateral cultural agreement has been in place since 1990. There is a Goethe‑Institut and a German Academic Exchange Service Information Point in Singapore. The first overseas campus of a German university – the Technical University of Munich (TUM) – was set up in Singapore in 2002, while Fraunhofer Singapore, the first Asian affiliate of Fraunhofer‑Gesellschaft, opened in 2017.