DPM Wong is forging strategic partnerships with Germany and France

12/04/2024

DEPUTY PRIME Minister Lawrence Wong is flying Singapore’s flag high during his week-long work trip to Berlin (Apr 8-10) and Paris (Apr 10-13). 

“Looking forward to fruitful and productive discussions over the next few days, as we build upon the warm and longstanding relations that Singapore has with both countries,” he said on TikTok as he started his long journey (Apr 8). 

@lawrencewongst

Onwards for a visit to #Berlin 🇩🇪 and #Paris 🇫🇷. Looking forward to fruitful and productive discussions over the next few days, as we build upon the warm and longstanding relations that #Singapore has with both countries.

♬ original sound – Lawrence Wong – Lawrence Wong

Source: Lawrence Wong / TikTok 

DPM Wong’s journey so far includes starting the upgrade (Apr 10) of Singapore’s bilateral relations with Germany to a Strategic Partnership, upgrading Singapore’s current Strategic Partnership with France into a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and opening the new Temasek office (Apr 11) in Paris. 

“Had a short but fruitful visit, including good meetings with key German political and industry leaders. Chancellor [Olaf] Scholz and I have also agreed to upgrading our bilateral relations to a Strategic Partnership. So we look forward to relations continuing on an upward trajectory, and growing even stronger in the years to come!” said DPM Wong of his Berlin visit. 

His comments came after considering alongside Chancellor Scholz the depth of Singapore and Germany’s long-standing and multifaceted bilateral ties.

Source: Chwee / MCI 

They also come after discussions with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier about how both countries are like-minded in strengthening multilateralism and a rules-based world order. 

“I also had dinner with several key German industry leaders. There is growing interest amongst Germany companies to expand into ASEAN, and to use Singapore as a gateway to the region. There are already more than 2300 Germany companies in Singapore. We welcome the growing German presence and look forward to doing more together as partners,” said DPM Wong. 

He also met about 300 Singaporeans living in Germany during this trip.  

“May you keep the Singapore spirit strong wherever you go!” said DPM Wong to them. 

Paris: A Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and a third Temasek office for Europe

Paris was next on DPM Wong’s agenda.  

There, he and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to upgrade Singapore-France relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSR) by 2025. The CSR comes after a successful decade-plus (2012-) Strategic Partnership and both countries wanting to cooperate in new sectors like the digital economy.

Source: MCI  

Additionally, DPM Wong opened the third European office of Temasek Holdings this Thursday (Apr 11), strengthening Singapore’s value proposition as a hub for Asia to the world.  

In particular, this third European office further opens up Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Temasek’s investments and networking.  

DPM Wong also articulated Singapore’s ethos of self-starting and hard work to French officials (including Minister of the Economy and Finance Bruno le Maire and Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin) using examples close to their homes. 

“Singapore has no natural resources; we are very small. Our land was just about the size of Lake Geneva when we started. Since then, we have grown a little bit through reclamation, but to give you a different reference point, we are still less than 1/10 the size of the island of Corsica. We are very small. And we have learned from the outset that we have to count on our own wits, and our own collective will to survive to make a living,” he said.  

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Source: tab1962/ Canva, sanddebeautheil, tobiasjo/ Getty 

DPM Wong’s French working trip continues. Meetings with industry leaders are on his schedule. He has also just finished a reception with overseas Singaporeans there — chicken rice and satay were on the menu. 

DPM Wong’s week in Europe follows his meeting with ASEAN Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Luang Prabang, Laos at the start of the month (Apr 4-5) where he discussed how to keep ASEAN’s economy going. These solutions included enhancing connectivity and accelerating the green transition.    

You can follow DPM Wong’s ongoing and future journeys on TikTok at lawrencewongst. He’s all about flying the nation’s flag high while Singapore moves forward.