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Merkel and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong Lee

A plea for open trade flows

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Singapore’s Premier have together underlined the importance of open trade flows. Angela Merkel said she was happy to have the chance to talk with Prime Minister Lee before the G20 summit – and to deepen relations between the two countries in Hamburg.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on a balcony of the Federal Chancellery Chancellor Angela Merkel and Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong discussed this weekend’s G20 summit Photo: Bundesregierung/ Bergmann

After welcoming Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong to the Federal Chancellery, Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed this weekend’s G20 summit with the Premier.

Bilateral relations between Germany and Singapore are already very close, said the Chancellor, before their meeting. She pointed to the excellent economic and trade relations, the open dialogue on foreign and security policy issues, and intensive cooperation in the field of research. In future other areas will be included in this cooperation, especially fields spawned by digitalisation. They include cyber security, connectivity, industry 4.0 and sustainable energy supplies.

At the G20 Singapore represents smaller states

At the G20, Singapore, which chairs the Global Governance Group ,works hard to ensure that the interests of smaller and medium-sized countries are not forgotten, said Angela Merkel. It is "particularly important that it is not only the large nations that sit around the G20 table, but that we also listen to the representatives of countries that are smaller, but obviously play a role that is every bit as important," stressed the Chancellor.

"We agree that we would like to see the G20 summit strengthen multilateral relations, and that we need an open society, in particular open trade flows, said Chancellor Angela Merkel. Opening up, and embracing the latest technological developments is something that Singapore has managed very successfully in its history.

Prime Minister Lee thanks Chancellor for support on free trade agreement

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong thanked Chancellor Angela Merkel for Germany’s support with respect to a free trade agreement between the EU and Singapore. It will be a model for an agreement between all ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) states and the EU. Chancellor Angela Merkel is also a "good friend", whose advice Singapore values, he added.

Economic relations
Singapore is Germany’s most important economic partner in the ASEAN area. There are currently some 1,500 German companies registered in Singapore. Given its close academic, scientific and economic relations with Singapore, Germany is also cooperating with the country on developing a dual system of vocational training. Under the Poly Goes UAS programme, graduates of Singapore’s polytechnics can go to study in Germany after completing a six-month German course at the Goethe Institute.

Jul 06, 2017