IT was historic as it was the first State Visit by a Singapore President to Germany. President Halimah Yacob landed in Berlin on 9th December 2019 for a 5-day visit and called on German President Frank-Walter Steinmeiera who hosted a State Banquest in the President’s honour. She also had meetings with Chancellor Angela Merkel and Governing Mayor of Berlin Michael Mueller.
The next stop was the Federal State of Hesse where she met Minister-President Volker Bouffier, who hosted a banquet for President; she also visited German companies in Berlin, Frankfurt and Heidelberg that have strong skills and training practices. Finally, the President met with overseas Singaporeans in Frankfurt. A business delegation organised by the Singapore Business Federation also visited Germany in conjunction with the State Visit.
According to a media release by Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs President Halimah and President Steinmeier had a bilateral meeting where they discussed common challenges and scope for more bilateral collaboration in the areas of education as well as research and development. Both leaders also had a wide-ranging discussion on international and regional developments.
In her meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkle, the leaders reviewed the excellent and multifaceted cooperation enjoyed by both countries in many areas including education, economy, defence and culture. They also welcomed the entry-into-force of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement which will further deepen the strong economic links between Singapore and Germany.