MUNICH - Singapore's relations with the German state of Bavaria are growing and both parties should build on the strength of the relationship and explore ways to deepen ties further, President Tony Tan Keng Yam said yesterday.
In both culture and business, Singapore has strong links with the state of Bavaria, Dr Tan noted at a lunch hosted by the head of the Bavarian State Chancellery, State Minister Thomas Kreuzer.
Trade between Singapore and Bavaria was about €2.3 billion (S$3.7 billion) last year, accounting for more than 10 per cent of the $21.3 billion total trade between Germany and Singapore.
'Bavaria is one of our most important partner-states in Germany, especially in the areas of business and trade,' said Dr Tan at the Prinz-Carl-Palais, the residence of the Bavarian State Minister in Munich, the capital city of Bavaria.
He noted that more than 100 Bavarian firms, including well-known ones such as Siemens, Infineon and BMW, have set up base in Singapore.
At the same time, Singapore also has close links in education with Bavaria. The Technical University Munich, in collaboration with Nanyang Technological University and the National University of Singapore, has set up its first overseas campus in Singapore.
And in the area of culture, Dr Tan noted that Singaporeans have a strong fondness for German culture, with many Singaporeans following the German football club Bayern Munich.
'Singaporeans' enthusiasm for Bavarian culture is so strong that we even have our own Oktoberfest,' he quipped, referring to the traditional beer festival held in Munich every October.
President Tan also marked the first day of his 10-day official visit to Germany by visiting the Lord Mayor of Munich, Mr Christian Ude, yesterday at the Munich Town Hall.