SINGAPORE: Germany and Singapore enjoy very strong and substantive bilateral ties, Foreign Affairs Minister, K Shanmugam said.
Speaking to the media after a meeting with his German counterpart Minister Dr Guido Westerwelle in Singapore, Mr Shanmugam said Singapore looks forward to a stronger role, a greater role that Germany can play in this region.
With Asia being an economically vibrant area, the minister believes it’s a win—win situation for both Europe and Southeast Asia.
The German Minister said his country sees Singapore as both a financial hub and a hub of creativity.
Dr Guido Westerwelle said: "I think it is remarkable that more and more German scientists are coming to Singapore and are part of this success story in Singapore, want to be part of the success story in Singapore. The deep relations between our countries, the bilateral relations are really a very good sign, and a very good signal that it is necessary to bring our regions together and this is what we want to continue."
Mr Shanmugam said: "Last year in December, we concluded the negotiations for an EU—Singapore Free Trade Agreement. Germany has been a strong supporter of it, believer of free trade. Doing a free—trade agreement with Singapore, is generally not so costly because we are an open economy, but what it is significant for is that if you can do a deal with Singapore, then it benefits EU as a whole because that is a building block for a free—trade agreement with ASEAN, and that, we believe will add to Europe’s own growth significantly."
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