Singapore enjoys good relations with the countries of Europe. There are regular exchanges between our Leaders, Ministers, MPs and officials. Our network of resident Embassies, non-resident Ambassadors and Honorary Consuls-General helps us maintain and develop links with European countries. Singapore’s relations with the European Union (EU) and individual member states are growing steadily across different sectors. In recent years, Singapore has also expanded contacts and deepened relations with emerging economies in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and the Black Sea regions. As a reflection of this interest, Singapore opened its embassy in Ankara, Turkey in July 2012. International Enterprise Singapore also opened an overseas centre in Istanbul in May 2012.
Singapore and its European counterparts cooperate closely in a wide range of fields, such as trade and investment, defence, education, culture, transport, energy, climate change and science and technology. Singapore and France signed a Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership during French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault's official visit on 18 October 2012. In 2005, PM Lee Hsien Loong and the Federal Chancellor of Germany Dr Angela Merkel issued an update to the Germany-Singapore Enhanced Partnership entitled "Singapore and Germany: The Way Ahead". With Russia, the annual High-Level Russia-Singapore Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC), co-chaired by Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov and Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, was established in 2010 as a platform for high-level political engagement and the cultivation of broad-based bilateral cooperation in various fields.
A key pillar of Singapore's relations with Europe is economic cooperation. Singapore acts as the hub for European business in the Asia-Pacific region. The German Centre for Industry and Trade, the German-Singapore Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Singapore-British Business Council, the France-Singapore Business Council and the Nordic European Centre have been established to help European small and medium enterprises start up their operations in Singapore and the region. The Russia-Singapore Business Forum, which has been held in Singapore since 2006, continues to help forge business-to-business linkages between Russia and Singapore. There are more than 9,300 European companies in Singapore. Many use Singapore as their regional headquarters, logistics and distribution centers for the region. Collectively, the EU is among Singapore's largest foreign investors and global trading partners. The conclusion of the EU-Singapore FTA negotiations in December 2012 represents another step forward in Singapore-EU relations and will facilitate deeper economic engagement between Singapore and the EU.
Singapore-Europe cooperation also extends to numerous other areas, including arts and culture, research and development, education, heritage, health and sports. Academic and student exchanges between Singapore and Europe are active, as are collaborations and exchanges among the museums of Singapore and Europe. European films, cultural groups and artistes are regularly featured in the Singapore Film Festival, Singapore Arts Festival and Singapore Biennale. An increasing number of Singapore cultural and performing arts groups and artistes are also making appearances in the great cultural venues and events in Europe. Following are a list of events and exhibitions held in collaboration between our local art agencies and their European counterparts:
The Spotlight Singapore: Young Entrepreneurs Series, an event targeting entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 years old, was held in the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic from 23 -29 September 2012.
The National Museum of Singapore also worked with the National Historical Museum of Ukraine and the Museum of Historical Treasures to present an exhibition entitled “Gold Rush: Treasures of Ukraine” from 29 May to 26 August 2012.
NHB and the French Ministry of Culture jointly organised a “Malraux Seminar” in Singapore on 20 March 2012, which saw a broad exchange of views between French and Singapore cultural experts at a seminar entitled “Audience Development in Culture and the Arts”.
From 26 October 2011 to 5 February 2012, the National Museum of Singapore presented Dreams and Reality: Masterpieces of Painting, Drawing and Photography from the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, as part of a collaborative effort with Musée d’Orsay.
The Singapore Arts Festival worked with Barcelona-based theatre company Teatro de los Sentidos to present a work for the Singapore Arts Festival 2011
The Singapore Festivarts was held at the Musee du’Quai Branly in Paris from October 2010 to February 2011.
A cultural-business extravaganza Spotlight Singapore in Moscow was held in Moscow in June 2008 with a range of programmes spanning the arts and business
In addition, Singapore engages Europe through multilateral platforms such as the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) process, which was first initiated in 1996, and the ASEAN-EU Dialogue Partnership. Our leaders regularly attend the ASEM Foreign Ministers Meetings and the ASEM Summits. The Asia-Europe Foundation, which was established under the aegis of ASEM, is also located in Singapore. As ASEAN Chair, Singapore hosted the ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit (AECS) on 22 November 2007 back-to-back with the ASEAN Summit to mark the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-EU relations.
Singapore hosts a large community of Europeans. They are well-integrated into the local community and their many contributions enhance the diversity and cosmopolitan nature of the country. Many European cultural institutions are also well represented in Singapore, including the Goethe-Institut, Italian Cultural Institute, Alliance Française de Singapour and the British Council.
2012 Incoming Visits
Visit of HE Jean Asselborn, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (13 Feb 2012)
Visit of HE Siim Kallas, EU Transport Commissioner, for the Aviation Leaders Summit (13 Feb 2012)
Visit of HE Cornelia Pieper, Minister of State of the Federal Foreign Office, Federal Republic of Germany(13 - 14 Feb 2012)
Visit of HE Stanislaw Tillich, Minister-President of the Free State of Saxony, Federal Republic of Germany (14 - 16 Feb 2012)
Visit of HE Juhan Parts, Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications, Estonia (14 - 17 Feb 2012)
Visit of HE Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland, for the World Oceans Summit (23 Feb 2012)
Official visit of HE Edward Nalbandian, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Armenia (27 - 28 Feb 2012)
Official visit of HE Giulio Terzi Di Sant’Agata, Foreign Minister of Italy (1 - 2 March 2012)
Visit of Maire Georghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation, and Science (2 - 3 Mar 2012)
Official visit of HE Edmond Haxhinasto, Foreign Minister of Republic of Albania (7 - 8 Mar 2012)
Visit of HE Ali Babacan, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey (7 - 9 Mar 2012)
Visit of Alain Berset, Federal Councillor of the Swiss Confederation (16 - 19 Mar 2012)
Visit of Recep Akdağ, Minister of Health, Turkey (18 - 21 March 2012)
State Visit by HE Serzh Sargsyan, President of Armenia (27 - 29 March 2012)
Visit of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron (13 April 2012)
Visit of the Governor and Mayor of Vienna Dr Michael Häupl (16 - 18 April 2012)
Visit of UK First Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary William Hague (25 - 26 April 2012)
Official Visit of HE Edgars Rinkēvičs, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Latvia (30 Apr - 2 May 2012)
State visit of the President of the Portugese Republic, Anibal Cavaco Silva (27 - 28 May 2012)
Official visit of HE Vuk Jeremić, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Serbia (27 - 29 May 2012)
Visit of Mehmet Şimşek, Minister of Finance, Turkey (17 - 18 July 2012)
Visit of Zafer Çağlayan, Minister of Economy, Turkey (21 - 23 July 2012)
Visit of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (11 - 13 Sep 2012)
Visit of HE Igor Shuvalov, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, for the 3rd High Level Russia-Singapore Inter-Governmental Commission (12 - 13 Sep 2012)
Visit of HE Wolfgang Schäuble, Federal Minister of Finance of Germany (13 - 14 Oct 2012)
Official Visit of HE Jean-Marc Ayrault, Prime Minister of the French Republic (16 - 18 Oct 2012)
Official Visit of HE Donald Tusk, Prime Minister of Poland (3 - 4 Nov 2012)
Official Visit of HE Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister of Luxembourg (6 - 7 Nov 2012)
Visit of HE Espen Barth Eide, Foreign Minister of Norway (7 Nov 2012)
Visit of HE José Manuel García-Margallo, Foreign Minister of Spain (8 Nov 2012)
State Visit of HE Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan (20 - 21 November 2012)
2013 Incoming Visits
State Visit of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands (23 - 25 January 2013)
Visit of Guido Westerwelle, Foreign Minister of Germany (8-10 Feb 2013)
Visit of Daniels Pavļuts, Minister of Economics, Latvia (8 - 9 March 2013)
Visit of Zoltan Balog, Minister of Human Resources, Hungary (8 - 9 March 2013)
State Visit of HE Aleksandr Lukashenko, President of Belarus (20 - 21 March 2013)
Visit of Villy Søvndal, Foreign Minister of Denmark (15 April 2013)
Visit of Zsolt Semjén, Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary and János Latorcai, Deputy Speaker of Hungarian Parliament (1 - 3 May 2013)
Official Visit of Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission (31 May - 1 June 2013)
2012 Outgoing Visits
Visit of Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Foreign Affairs & Community Development, Youth and Sports) Sam Tan to Rome, Italy for the Ministerial Conference on ASEAN Awareness (22 - 23 March 2012)
Visit of DPM and Minister for Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam to Turkey (29 - 31 May 2012)
Official Visit of President Tony Tan Keng Yam to Munich, Berlin and Lindau, Germany to attend the 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting (24 June - 3 July 2012)
Visit of President Tony Tan Keng Yam to the United Kingdom for the London Summer Olympics Games (26 Jul - 3 Aug 2012)
Visit of Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Foreign Affairs & Community Development, Youth and Sports) Sam Tan to London, United Kingdom (29 Aug - 3 Sep 2012)
Visit of Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Foreign Affairs & Community Development, Youth and Sports) Sam Tan to Akureyri, Iceland to attend the 10th Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region (5 - 7 Sept 2012)
Visit of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to Vladivostok, Russia for the Asia-Pacific Economic cooperation (APEC) Leader's Meeting (8 - 9 Sep 2012)
Visit of Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Foreign Affairs & Community Development, Youth and Sports) Sam Tan to the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic to attend the Spotlight Singapore: Young Entrepreneurs Series (23 - 27 Sept 2012)
Visit of Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Foreign Affairs & Community Development, Youth and Sports) Sam Tan to Berlin, Germany for the Second ASEM Meeting of Governors and Mayors (18 - 19 Oct 2012)
Visit of Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Foreign Affairs & Community Development, Youth and Sports) Sam Tan to Vienna, Austria and Ljubljana, Slovenia (21 - 25 Oct 2012)
2013 Outgoing Visits
Visit of Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law K Shanmugam to Turkey (3 - 4 January 2013)
Visit of Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Foreign Affairs & Culture, Community and Youth) Sam Tan to Austria, Finland, Poland and Sweden (22 - 29 March 2013)
Visit of Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat to Denmark and Finland (7 - 13 April 2013)
Official Visit of Speaker of Parliament Mdm Halimah Yacob to Russia and Belarus (23 - 28 April 2013)
Visit of Minister (Prime Minister's Office), Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs Grace Fu to Spain, Portugal and Ireland (5 - 10 May 2013)
Visit of DPM and Minister for Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam to Turkey (7 May 2013)
Visit of Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan to Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden (19 - 26 May 2013)