Cyber security, climate are areas S'pore and Germany can deepen collaboration in: President Halimah

President Halimah Yacob hosting German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to lunch at the Istana on June 15, 2022. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION

SINGAPORE - Cyber security, climate change and the digital economy are areas in which Singapore and Germany can deepen collaboration, said President Halimah Yacob on Wednesday (June 15).

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier had called on Madam Halimah at the Istana in the morning and she hosted him to lunch there.

Dr Steinmeier is in Singapore for a two-day working visit that ends on Wednesday. He will also be heading to Indonesia. This is his first visit to Asia since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

In a Facebook post, President Halimah said the both of them had an engaging discussion on a wide range of issues, including regional and global developments.

They also discussed the importance of multilateralism during the pandemic and now in the face of unprecedented conflict and challenges.

Madam Halimah added: "Singapore and Germany are both steadfast in our support for a rules-based world order.

"We enjoy close cooperation in the economic, defence, education and R&D sectors, and are keen to explore further collaboration in the areas of cyber security, climate change and digital economy."

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said the presidents reaffirmed the excellent and longstanding relations between Singapore and Germany, which span diverse sectors, as well as the countries' cooperation at multilateral fora.

"Against a backdrop of unprecedented global challenges, it is important to work with partners to support multilateralism and a rules-based international order," said the ministry.

On Wednesday, Dr Steinmeier also attended a round-table discussion with business representatives organised by the Singapore-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce, together with Minister for Transport and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations S. Iswaran.

They discussed ways to increase business and economic ties between Singapore and Germany, particularly in areas of mutual interest such as the digital and green economies, as well as advanced manufacturing, said MFA.

During the event, Dr Steinmeier said Germany needs international partners like Singapore that are willing to join forces to transform their economies towards a sustainable future.

He said it is for a reason that Singapore ranks among the top when it comes to the ease of doing business, and many German enterprises have chosen Singapore as a hub for the region.

"All this is grounded on trust and reliability, underlined by the fact that the trade agreement for Singapore was the first that the European Union (EU) signed with a country in South-east Asia," Dr Steinmeier said.

Mr Iswaran noted that Germany remains one of Singapore's largest trade and investment partners in the EU. There are over 2,000 German companies in Singapore, which continues to welcome them to use the Republic as a launchpad to access opportunities in the region.

"Looking ahead, there are numerous areas of mutual interest that Singapore and Germany can prioritise our cooperation in," the minister added.

On Tuesday, Dr Steinmeier met Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong in his capacity as Acting Prime Minister, as well as Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

MFA said they took stock of bilateral relations, and exchanged views on global and regional developments, particularly the situation in Ukraine as well as the global energy and food crises.

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