KAS-RSIS Ministerial Forum
The Indo-Pacific: Geostrategic Challenges and Opportunities for Germany and Singapore
Catch the recorded session here.
With the visit of President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to Singapore in 2017 and the visit of President Halimah Yacob to Germany in 2019, both countries have shown their commitment to a deepening of ties, based on joint interests in the area of security, trade and a rules-based world order. This commitment has been built upon by the German government in September 2020, when it released its first ever strategic guideline for the Indo-Pacific, in which Singapore and ASEAN was featured prominently. Germany has stated its plans to partner the city state to promote fact based information in the region and to fight fake news. Singapore is seen as an important partner in upholding the multilateral world order. This is highlighted by the participation of both countries in the “Alliance for Multilateralism”, an informal alliance of countries that are convinced that multilateralism founded on respect for international law is the only reliable guarantee for international stability and peace and that the challenges we are facing can only be solved through cooperation.
While dealing with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU and ASEAN continue to be important trade partners for each other. After the implementation of Free Trade Agreements between the EU and Singapore as well as between the EU and Vietnam within the last 12 months, this development is likely to gain additional momentum in the years to come. Both Singapore and Germany are drivers of digital transformation and champions of climate friendly technologies, setting a clear agenda for joint research projects and broader co-operation in these areas.
As laid down in the Indo Pacific guidelines of the German government, Germany and the European Union are planning to play a bigger role in defending the rules based international order in the Indo-Pacific. A strengthening of the defence co-operation between Germany and the countries in the region is therefore an important priority for Germany’s Minister of Defence, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. On November 13, she will engage in a public virtual exchange with Singapore Minister for Defence Dr. Ng Eng Hen in order to discuss the challenges and opportunities for the security cooperation between both countries in the Indo-Pacific region. The exchange will give both ministers the opportunity to highlight relevant areas of the security co-operation between both countries and regions which could be developed further, while at the same time pointing out potential hurdles in this process.
The Ministerial Forum is jointly hosted by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) and the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS).