During his two-day visit in Singapore (14 - 15 June 2022) President Steinmeier met with President Halimah Yacob, Acting Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnian and Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran. He also had a chance to visit Singapore's port.
Talking to media representatives, he said during his stay:
“I am delighted that my first major international trip during my second term of office has taken me to Asia.
I am delighted to be in a region where we have reliable partners and where interest in Germany remains high – and is even growing. Conversely, we are looking for partners with whom we can cultivate exchange amid the difficult economic situation we face globally. Anyone who viewed the port here in Singapore today understands why we need to be here. Until recently, Singapore’s port was the world’s 2nd largest seaport with the highest container turnover. Following recent events in Shanghai and the long waiting periods there, Singapore has even overtaken Shanghai. There are substantial reasons for German companies to invest here. 2,100 companies have already created many jobs in the city and enjoy the good investment climate here.
But we are talking about far more than just the economy. We just visited the campus of the Technical University of Munich, which has set up a branch here in Asia and attracts many interested students, not just from Singapore but from all over the world.
With regard to the world situation in general, we are further away from the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine here in Singapore, but we are feeling the effects here too. Singapore is also fighting inflation and is looking for solutions to the global crisis. The watchword is diversification of supply chains. This is a topic that is not only discussed in Germany or Europe, but also in this part of the world. The experts here in Singapore have been pointing to this necessity to diversify. Particularly with a view to China, this will not be possible overnight and will be a lengthy remodeling process.
Today, we had the opportunity to speak to the Minister of Foreign Affairs as well as to the incumbent Prime Minister, and I am looking forward to meeting President Halimah Yacob tomorrow.
Both Singapore and Germany agree that globalization cannot or should not be reversed. The notion of full economic sovereignty or self-sufficiency is considered in Singapore a wrong choice as it would be in Germany. We need diversified supply chains. We need cooperation between countries that - like many here in South-East Asia - have an interest in preserving the rules-based international order, rule of law, and offer secure investment conditions. These are convictions we must stand up for here in Singapore.”