BERLIN: Students from Singapore's Institute of Technical Education (ITE) could soon have work attachment opportunities in Germany.
The initiative is among several deals inked by the two countries on Monday (Dec 9) to enhance cooperation in training and innovation and open up greater opportunities for workers and companies.
The signing of 10 Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) - mostly related to education and innovation - was witnessed by Singapore President Halimah Yacob as part of her five-day state visit to Germany.
Most of the MOUs were signed at the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce in Berlin.
One of the agreements on the ITE initiative was signed at engineering and technology company Bosch, the company which will be offering the training attachments for the students.
Mdm Halimah visited the company's campus.
Bosch will also collaborate with Singapore's Economic Development Board to set up an innovation hub in Singapore to grow its in-house startup incubation network.
Under another agreement between Enterprise Singapore and Munich Network, which will support greater networking, Singapore's tech startups as well as SMEs could also find it easier to break into the German market.
Clarence Hoe, Global Markets Director for Americas and Western Europe at Enterprise Singapore, said it is one of the first agreements that the statutory board has signed with Germany that looks at direct access to German corporates’ demands and needs.
He added: “The significance (of the MOU) therefore, is being very clear on establishing the relationship, the needs, and then coming up with a clear path for our companies to be able to tap on them.”
Mdm Halimah’s visit marks a historic milestone as it is the first state visit to Germany by a Singapore President since both countries established diplomatic ties 54 years ago.
This especially since Germany is Singapore’s largest European Union trading partner, with bilateral trade valued at more than S$22 billion - a fifth of Singapore's total trade with the EU.
Speaking to business leaders at the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, Mdm Halimah noted uncertainty caused by developments such as US-China trade tensions and Brexit, and urged both countries to build stronger relations to weather the storm.
She said both countries must promote people and business ties, and also support training for workers to help them adapt to changes.
“Singapore and Germany can be confident of our partnership. It is firmly rooted on mutual trust and respect, strong networks and a deep commitment to common values,” said Mdm Halimah.
“With your strong support, I am confident we will make new forays that will make our partnership future-ready and people-centric,” she added.