Germany and Singapore enjoy excellent bilateral relations, which are underlined by high-level political visits (state visit by the Federal President in 2017, participation of the Federal Minister of Defence in 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, an international order based on norms, 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 are important to each other as regards trade. Singapore’s exports to Germany were worth 6.6 billion euros in 2018, while German exports to Singapore amounted to 7.9 billion euros. German direct investments in Singapore were worth over 15 billion euros in 2016. Around 1800 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 GTAI and the Singapore Business Forum) and in Singapore (including the Economic Development Board, 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 will take place for the second time in Singapore in October 2019.
A bilateral cultural agreement has been in place since 1990. There is a Goethe-Institut and a German Academic Exchange Service Information Centre 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 subsidiary of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, opened in 2017.