Germany invites Singapore to G-20 summit

Germany has invited Singapore to attend the annual meetings and leaders' summit of the Group of 20 (G-20) major economies next year, Singapore's Foreign Affairs and Finance ministries said yesterday.

The Hamburg Summit from July 7 to 8 will be the 12th meeting of G-20 heads of state and government, who will discuss the challenges confronting the global economy as well as policies to promote strong, sustainable and balanced growth.

Germany holds the rotating G-20 presidency next year.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also wrote to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying Singapore is honoured to accept the invitation.

"We firmly support Germany's efforts to enrich the inclusiveness and transparency of the G-20 process by reaching out to non-G-20 countries," Mr Lee wrote.

"Singapore seeks to promote stronger engagement between the G-20 and the wider United Nations membership through the Global Governance Group."

Singapore is not a member of the G-20, which comprises the world's 20 largest developed and developing economies, making up two-thirds of the world population, 85 per cent of the global economy and over 75 per cent of world trade.

Singapore has, however, been invited to participate in the G-20 summits and related processes in 2010, 2011 and 2013 to 2016, as a representative of the Global Governance Group (3G) - an informal grouping of 30 small and medium-sized countries that it convened.

In his letter, PM Lee noted that Germany and Singapore have cooperated closely across various fields.

"We welcome Germany's priorities on resilience, responsibility and sustainability," he said.

The G-20's leadership in steering the global economy is especially crucial at a time of subdued global economic outlook, as well as sluggish growth in trade and investment, he noted. "As an open economy and a major financial centre, Singapore will continue our active contributions to the G-20's ongoing discussions on key economic and financial policy issues," he added.

In their joint statement, the ministries said that Singapore looks forward to contributing to G-20 discussions on global financial reforms, the multilateral trading system, employment and digitalisation.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 03, 2016, with the headline 'Germany invites Singapore to G-20 summit'. Print Edition | Subscribe