Singapore and Germany deepened ties and affirmed greater co-operation between the two countries. A joint declaration on strengthening cybersecurity cooperation to deepen information exchange between the two countries was signed and the leaders of both countries expressed commitment to work together more closely in areas like finance technology (fintech) and sports, and also welcomed stronger defence ties, including an enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement that is under discussion.
PM Lee told international media that both countries “enjoy a close partnership, underpinned by broad and deep collaboration”. Both sides were looking forward to stepping up “defence cooperation in areas of mutual interest,” adding that Singapore was grateful to Germany for hosting training for the Singapore Armed Forces.
Singapore and Germany share a deep history of political, defence and economic ties and diplomatic relations that goes back to 1965.
The Singapore leader expressed appreciation at Germany’s support for the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA). The first bilateral agreement between the EU and an ASEAN nation which aims to remove tariffs and give both sides greater access to each others’ markets.
“It will bring significant benefits to Singapore, Germany and the EU and signal clearly our support for open international trade,” the Prime Minister said. “It will also be a pathfinder for an EU-ASEAN FTA, and help draw our two regions even closer together”.
There is a great deal of German business activity and in Singapore. Germany is Singapore’s largest EU trading partner, while Singapore is Germany’s largest ASEAN trading partner. Today there are over 1,600 German companies operating in Singapore in sectors such as electronics and engineering, among others.
It has said that this has influenced Singapore’s manufacturing quality. German manufacturing standards are high. There were even laws in the past that prohibit products from failing within a time period of two years.
Today, PM Lee thanked the German leader for the invitation to the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Hamburg. PM Lee will be taking part in discussions revolving global economic growth, trade and jobs, among other topics.
This will be Singapore’s seventh time participating in the summit.