Singapore is an amazing cultural melting pot, where people of different ethnic backgrounds such as Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian and Peranakan unite as one. This extraordinary phenomenon is what makes Singapore such a unique and vibrant place. When you visit Singapore, you will get to discover a wide range of cultures and heritage—even German cultures too!
Germany and Singapore have a long-standing economic relationship that has grown stronger over the years. As of 2019, there are more than 1,800 German companies based in Singapore, with German direct investments standing at €14.3 billion (S$21.5 billion). This influx of German businesses has injected new life into the city-state’s economy, creating jobs and stimulating economic growth.
And you can find plenty of German eateries here too. The number of German residents is steadily increasing in Lion City, and what this means for many Singaporeans is that it can be really helpful to learn the language and use it in everyday life!
Why do German businesses choose Singapore?
Some of these companies generally see Singapore as a regional hub or headquarters as the country is, most of the time, principally responsible for the South-East Asia region. But what other reasons are there?
1) Emerging Asia
The Eurozone economy is predicted to have an average annual growth rate of 2% from 2017-2020, while Asia’s estimated growth rate for the same period is 6.2%. Furthermore, South-East Asia alone includes over 600 million people who are just starting to partake in consumerism. After analyzing the available data and recognizing Singapore’s technological capabilities, a significant number of German businesses have opened up shop in this country.
2) Favourable geographical location
Singapore’s seaport is amongst the largest in the world, having links to 600 ports globally. Its airport is connected with over 210 cities in the world and sees more than 6,000 flights every week. For businesses based in Germany, Singapore opens up a great opportunity to access the large regional markets of Thailand, Indonesia, The Philippines and Vietnam with relative ease.
3) The ideal environment for businesses
A survey has reported that Singapore has the world’s best infrastructure taking into account the country’s ample access to public transportation, healthcare services, universities and electricity supply. It is also noteworthy that the country has low crime rates, political stability and respects intellectual property rights, which is an important factor for innovation-driven companies.
4) Widespread use of English
Another reason why German companies build their presence in Singapore is because of the widespread use of English. The language has become the city’s most spoken language as it is widely used in schools and at work. The reason why Singaporeans use English for administrative purposes and business is that it makes it easier for global business operations.
5) Highly skilled labour force
In their efforts to localise the business to meet local demands, German companies can also utilise local talents in Singapore. And Singapore local talents are highly skilled. Last year, Singapore ranked ninth in the world talent ranking.
The emergence of German associations and companies in Singapore
Germany and Singapore formalised their diplomatic ties 56 years ago. However, the friendship between the two nations has a much longer history than that.
Dating back to 1840, Behn, Meyer & Co is Germany’s oldest ever business in Singapore. This company deals with trading, shipping and insurance services. Siemens, an international corporation, has been present in Singapore since 1908. German Association, the oldest German organization in Singapore dates back to 1856 when it was founded as Teutonia Club.
Over the years, Germany and Singapore have built a strong relationship. In fact, German imports represent a fifth of all EU-Singapore trade, which makes Germany Singapore’s major trading partner in the European Union.
The relationship between Germany and Singapore is going strong. This burgeoning friendship has been nurtured since a long time and with the promise of a brighter future, it’s only bound to get stronger in terms of diplomacy, business, culture & education.
Singapore is highly aware of the long-lasting relationship it has with Germany and has acknowledged the importance of the German language in the country. With an increasing number of German businesses and residents here in Singapore, the importance of learning the German language is becoming more and more prevalent.
In fact, there are 60 international schools in Singapore that teach different languages such as German, French and Japanese. For example, international schools such as the Swiss School in Singapore and German European School Singapore (GESS) offer German as the language of instruction.
Not forgetting that the Ministry of Education Language Centre (MOELC) recognises and included the German language as a third language in Singapore a year after its founding. There is also the Goethe-Institut Singapore, a worldwide-famous German cultural institute by the Federal Republic of Germany to encourage the learning of the German language and exchange of culture in Singapore.
We can see the importance of the German language in Singapore with more and more businesses and institutions being established in the country. This relationship between the two countries has surely opened new doors for many people to learn and love the German language and culture, as well as to create new opportunities of their own.
With that being said, if you are interested in getting your child started with learning German, get in touch with us now!
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- Wong, L. (2019, December 11). German companies contributed to Singapore’s development: President Halimah. The Straits Times. https://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/german-companies-contributed-to-singapores-development-president-halimah.