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Germany and Singapore: Bilateral relations Singapore

30.09.2021 - Article

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). Even during the pandemic, many meetings continue to be held, mostly in a virtual format. There is a high level of consensus between the two countries on important foreign policy issues (including multilateralism, a rules-based international order, free world trade, climate protection and combating terrorism). The German and Singaporean Foreign Ministers issued a joint declaration in New York in September 2018, while a German-Singaporean declaration seeking to intensify cooperation in various fields was signed by the two Heads of Government in 2005. Both countries’ Foreign Ministers play an active role as part of the Alliance for Multilateralism.

Germany and Singapore are important to each other as trade partners. Singapore’s exports to Germany were worth approximately 4.7 billion euro in 2020 (-18.1%), while German exports to Singapore amounted to 6.1 billion euro (-16%), resulting in a trade balance of 1.5 billion euro. Around 2000 German companies are registered in the country. 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. In 2020, the Industrial Transformation ASIA-PACIFIC (ITAP) trade fair organised by Deutsche Messe took place in a virtual format, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since September 2021, Singapore has enabled fully vaccinated persons to enter the country without a quarantine period, thanks to its Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) pilot programme.

A bilateral cultural agreement has been in place since 1990. Singapore is home to a branch of the Goethe-Institut and a German Academic Exchange Service Information Point. 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. The German European School Singapore – the largest German school abroad in Asia – is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021/2022.

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