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The partnerships between Singapore and German companies are expected to grow as both countries deepen business ties through a suite of initiatives. 

In the last four years alone, the Germany Singapore Business Forum (GSBF) has brought together more than 400 German and Singapore companies. 

Platforms such as the GSBF have raised interest amongst Singapore companies to explore opportunities in Germany, as reflected in the number of business missions to Germany led by Enterprise Singapore which has almost doubled on a year-on-year basis.

Expanding Touchpoints For Collaboration

To better leverage, the complementary strengths of Singapore SMEs and German Mittelstand, Enterprise Singapore and the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support enterprise development through industrial and digital transformation in sectors of common interest, including advanced manufacturing, digitalisation and innovation, medical technology and healthcare, and future of mobility. 

This will be done via enhanced collaboration in open innovation, and by jointly accessing market opportunities in Southeast Asia and Europe.

Under the MOU, Enterprise Singapore and APA will co-organise the refreshed GSBF Connect which will feature sector-specific events held throughout the year to facilitate more frequent collaborations between German and Singapore companies.

The first edition of GSBF Connect, dedicated to the manufacturing sector, was held virtually during Industrial Transformation Asia Pacific 2020 on October 21, 2020.

The second edition of GSBF Connect will be held during the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology on December 9, 2020.

Growing Technology Collaborations

Singapore and German SMEs have collaborated in co-innovation projects under the Germany-Singapore SME Funding Programme, jointly managed by Enterprise Singapore, and AiF Projekt on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

An example is a partnership between Moveon Technologies and Vanguard Automation in 2018.

More recently, a new partnership between Singapore Polytechnic, German testing, inspection and certification company TÜV SÜD, industrial automation leader Delta Electronics and Singapore’s Smart I4.0 Transformation Alliance (SiTA) was announced on October 14, 2020.

The Advanced Manufacturing Learning Journey at Singapore Polytechnic will guide Singapore SME manufacturers, starting with Smart Industry Readiness Index (SIRI) assessments by TÜV SÜD, to customised technology solutions from SiTA and Delta Electronics, as well as workforce upskilling programmes from Singapore Polytechnic.

“In this changing business environment, our enterprises need to connect with one another in more and better ways. Germany and Singapore are trusted partners who place a high emphasis on delivering quality and innovative products and services,” said Peter Ong, Chairman of Enterprise Singapore and Co-Chair of GSBF Connect.

“The MOU between Enterprise Singapore and APA will cement this commitment to help our companies collaborate and leverage each other’s strengths. I look forward to forging new partnerships with Germany, and welcoming our German friends and partners to join us for the upcoming series of GSBF Connect events,” added Ong.

“Singapore is attractive to German companies in several ways – as a proven long-term partner with whom new technologies and innovative business models can be developed, but also as an experienced bridge builder into the emerging ASEAN region,” said Professor Axel Stepken, Chairman of the Management Board TÜV SÜD AG and Co-Chair of GSBF Connect.

“Singapore has a strong record as a leading R&D hub and digital trendsetter, while German companies are known for their ability to manufacture state-of-the-art machinery and products. I still see many fields and sectors in which we can bring our specific strengths together. With the GSBF Connect, we want to make a relevant contribution to realize these untapped potentials,” added Professor Stepken.

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