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Bern, Press release, 26.01.2010

On Tuesday, Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey met the Foreign Minister of Singapore, George Yeo, in Bern for talks. In addition to a discussion on bilateral relations, the agenda of the meeting included international issues such as co-operation within the United Nations and the OECD, as well as other questions concerning global governance.

Both sides emphasised the good state of relations between the two countries. The intensive bilateral economic relations and especially the good functioning of the free-trade agreement of 2003 were a source of particular satisfaction. Singapore is Switzerland’s most important economic partner in Southeast Asia.   

Reforms in the United Nations Security Council was also a subject of discussion. Both Switzerland and Singapore are working together within the “Small Five” group on formulating proposals to improve the working methods of the Security Council and make them more transparent.  

Another item on the agenda was co-operation in establishing an efficient monitoring system within the OECD. Since both States have large financial centres it is important for both that the international standards of the OECD concerning the exchange of information in taxation matters be applied systematically by all member States and in the same way.  

On the subject of the G20, questions were discussed concerning closer cooperation between this group of countries and non-members as well as with the international community, in particular the UN.    

Switzerland has a trade surplus of more than CHF 1.5 billion with Singapore. It is the fifth-largest direct investor in this city-state, where it is also present with a Swiss Business Hub for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).  

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