German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz received a ceremonial welcome at the Istana this afternoon and had a new orchid hybrid, the Renanthera Olaf Scholz, named in his honour. Chancellor Scholz called on President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Chancellor Scholz and Prime Minister Lee also held a Joint Press Conference before adjourning for an Official Dinner hosted by Prime Minister Lee. Earlier in the afternoon, Chancellor Scholz also met Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong on the sidelines of the 17th Asia-Pacific Conference of German Business.
President Halimah and Chancellor Scholz reaffirmed the longstanding and multifaceted relations between Singapore and Germany. They took note of the wide-ranging areas of bilateral cooperation, including in emerging areas such as the digital economy, innovation, and cybersecurity.
Prime Minister Lee and Chancellor Scholz welcomed the excellent progress in bilateral relations, and agreed to deepen existing areas of cooperation, such as in trade and investment and defence, while driving collaboration in new areas such as renewable energy and climate action. They welcomed the signing of the Germany-Singapore Framework for Sustainability and Innovation (FSI) on 13 November 2022 by German Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck and Minister for Transport and Trade Relations S Iswaran, which would pave the way for economic partnerships and engagement in sectors such as mobility and green technology. Chancellor Scholz and Prime Minister Lee also exchanged views on key regional and international developments, and reaffirmed their shared commitment to free and open trade and a multilateral, rules-based international order.
Following the meeting, Chancellor Scholz and Prime Minister Lee issued a Joint Declaration titled “Partners for a Resilient and Sustainable Future”, which outlines the trajectory of bilateral cooperation and relations going forward. The full text of the Joint Declaration is at Annex.
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MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
14 NOVEMBER 2022
JOINT DECLARATION BETWEEN THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY AND THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE: PARTNERS FOR A RESILIENT AND SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
1. Over the past half century, Germany and Singapore have established a strong foundation for bilateral cooperation. We enjoy excellent and multi-faceted relations, anchored by a shared and unwavering commitment to multilateralism and the rules-based international order. As like-minded partners, we share a belief in the relevant fundamental principles of promoting peace and cooperation, as expressed in Germany’s Policy Guidelines on the Indo-Pacific, the European Union (EU) Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, and we look forward to further strengthening cooperation between the EU and ASEAN.
2. Faced with global challenges such as climate change, great power rivalry, supply chain disruptions, the on-going Russian invasion of Ukraine, and other international conflicts and wars, Germany and Singapore will further strengthen our partnership with shared determination and ambition to chart a future based on sustainability, innovation, and resilience. Germany and Singapore support free trade and an open, multilateral, rules-based trading system with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core.
3. The scope of our engagement spans political ties, trade and investment, as well as cooperation in renewable energy, climate protection, research and innovation, connectivity, cyber, defence and security. The following plan of action builds upon the “Singapore-Germany Declaration: The Way Ahead” signed by our leaders in December 2005, and provides guidance and impetus for increased cooperation in the years to come.
4. Political Relations
- Continue and deepen political exchanges at all levels to enhance dialogue on global challenges, issues of mutual interest, and areas for cooperation, including multilateral affairs, international peace and security and human rights.
- Strengthen the Strategic Partnership between the EU and ASEAN, including by enhancing the EU’s cooperation and engagement with ASEAN and ASEAN-led formats supporting ASEAN unity and centrality as well as existing ASEAN mechanisms to address challenges within the region.
- Contribute to further advancing Germany’s Development Partnership with ASEAN.
- Deepen linkages between our parliamentary friendship groups.
5. Economic Cooperation
- Deepen economic collaboration at the government-to-government, government-to-business, and business-to-business levels through the Germany-Singapore Framework for Sustainability and Innovation (FSI) signed on 13 November 2022.
- Support the successful implementation of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force in November 2019 and serves as a pathfinder for a possible future inter-regional Free Trade Agreement between the EU and ASEAN. Both sides acknowledge that the EU-Singapore Investment Protection Agreement and the EU-Singapore Partnership and Cooperation Agreement will enter into force, once ratified by all parties.
- Support ongoing negotiations for an ambitious and comprehensive EU-Singapore Digital Partnership, as well as explore pathfinding digital economy use cases and other collaborations that have regional application potential.
- Pursue a bilateral dialogue on digital issues involving policy-makers, regulators, and businesses, addressing topics ranging from internet governance and data policy to the application of emerging technologies and support for innovative start-ups and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the digital economy.Enhance business and co-innovation partnerships in the renewable energy, agrifood technology including novel food, infrastructure, smart manufacturing, mobility, and info communication technology sectors, as well as virtual/physical business missions, joint training programmes, and business networking platforms.
- Explore collaboration between economic agencies and the German industrial and research community on Industrie (Industry) 4.0 topics such as standardisations, cybersecurity, and the co-development and test-bed of solutions.
- Facilitate cooperation between our SMEs through the Germany-Singapore Business Forum Connect (GSBF Connect), the Germany-Singapore SME Funding Programme, and the EUREKA Network.
- Enhance cooperation in infrastructure projects, in particular in renewable energy and low-carbon technology, taking into account the goals of the Paris Agreement.
- Support the expansion of German start-ups and SMEs in Singapore and the region, through the German Accelerator Programme and with the support of the Singaporean-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (SGC), and the expansion of Singaporean start-ups in Germany and the European region, through the Scaler8 programme under the Global Innovation Alliance spearheaded by Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and the Economic Development Board (EDB).
- Enhance innovation collaboration and financial services cooperation, including through an active presence of German companies and start-ups at the annual Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH) and the Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF).
- Encourage German flagship trade shows to use Singapore as a hub and gateway to the Asia-Pacific region.
6. Climate Action, Sustainable Development and Renewable Energy
- Deepen cooperation in sustainability and the green economy, including through initiatives under the FSI that support the transitions of our countries to net zero emissions and at the same time boost growth and create jobs in green sectors.
- Continue the close collaboration in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process to work towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, i.e. in the key areas of mitigation, adaptation, and making financial flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.
- Undertake joint initiatives and facilitate knowledge exchange in the areas of urban governance, energy efficiency, renewable energies such as green hydrogen, circular economy, solid waste management, carbon services, and food security.
- Participate in regular dialogue, including at the World Cities Summit and the Petersberg Climate Dialogue as opportune, and exchange information on smart cities and climate action.
- Support the implementation of the ASEAN-EU Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement (ASEAN-EU CATA) signed on 17 October 2022 to deepen aviation cooperation and enhance air connectivity between our respective regions.
- Explore joint opportunities as part of the EU Global Gateway Initiative to support regional infrastructure projects such as railroads, electricity grids, and others.
8. Defence and Security
- Maintain and, where suitable, intensify the frequent exchange of bilateral visits at the policy, military, and police levels, including through annual dialogues, professional exchanges, exercises, and training.
- Continue to enhance cooperation between the Bundeswehr and the Singapore Armed Forces including the exploration of further opportunities for bilateral training between our navies, armies, and air forces, following the visit to Singapore by the German Navy frigate Bayern in December 2021 and by the German Air Force for Exercise Rapid Pacific in August 2022, and building upon the existing tank-related training exercises between the German and Singapore armies, and cooperation between our navies in submarine-related areas.
- Expand cooperation on non-traditional security threats, including through counter-terrorism, maritime security, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) through the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) Information Fusion Centre, the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Centre (ISC) in Singapore, and Changi Regional HADR Coordination Centre.
- Continue cooperation to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including through the Proliferation Security Initiative.
- Welcome German interest in participating as an observer in ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM)-Plus Expert Working Groups.
- Increase cooperation between our cybersecurity agencies, including information sharing, the protection of Critical Information Infrastructure, and cybersecurity standards and certification.
- Increase cyber cooperation between our defence establishments.
- Conduct regular dialogue and continue to enhance international cooperation between our law enforcement agencies to combat financial fraud and online scams.
10. Education, Research, Science and Technology
- Encourage collaboration and talent exchanges in R&D through Germany’s Industrie (Industry) 4.0 initiatives and in line with Singapore’s Future of Manufacturing (FOM) strategy, as well as initiatives such as the Singapore-Germany Academic-Industry (2+2) International Collaboration.
- Explore collaboration in new materials and methods for additive manufacturing, robust security systems for the industrial Internet of Things, and future communication technologies like “Beyond 5G/6G” to ensure efficient standards.
- Explore collaboration in life sciences with a focus on digital health, pandemic preparedness and food security research.
- Support exchanges and cooperation between our schools, vocational institutions (e.g. polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education in Singapore), universities, and research institutes to encourage greater sharing and collaboration, attachment of respective students in industries and enrolment in institutes of higher learning.
- Deepen collaboration in vocational training and education, in addition to further implementing related initiatives.
- Strengthen cultural exchanges, people-to-people formats, and language learning exchange taking into account also the regional (ASEAN/EU) dimension.
- Promote platforms of exchange and dialogue such as the Goethe Institute, the German European School Singapore, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Ministry of Education Language Centre, the Fraunhofer Institute in Singapore, and Technical University of Munich (TUM) Asia.
Signed in the Republic of Singapore on 14 November 2022 by:
Mr Olaf Scholz Mr Lee Hsien Loong
Federal Chancellor Prime Minister
Federal Republic of Germany Republic of Singapore