His Excellency Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier

His Excellency Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier

Federal President, Federal Republic of Germany

About The Speaker

His Excellency Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier is the twelfth Federal President of the Federal Republic of Germany since 12 February 2017.

Prior to taking office as Federal President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier served as Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs for the second time, from 2013 to January 2017. He was first appointed Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs in 2005, and was also Deputy Chancellor from 2007. In 2009, Frank-Walter Steinmeier won a directly elected seat in a constituency in Land Brandenburg and became a Member of the German Bundestag, where he was subsequently elected Chairperson.

Earlier in his political career, Frank-Walter Steinmeier was appointed State Secretary at the Federal Chancellery, and Federal Government Commissioner for the Federal Intelligence Services in 1998. He also served as Head of the Federal Chancellery between 1999 to 2005.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier has received numerous awards and prizes, including the Ignatz Bubis Prize for Understanding, the Europe Prize for Political Culture, the Bosphorus Prize for European Understanding, the Willy Brandt Prize, the Tolerance Prize of the Evangelical Academy of Tutzing and the Ecumenical Prize of the Catholic Academy in Bavaria. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by Paderborn University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Piraeus and Ural Federal University of Ekaterinburg. He is also an honorary citizen of the cities of Sibiu and Reims.

Building An Open and Interconnected World Through Digital Innovation and Democracy

2 November 2017

Let us defend the free and fair exchange of ideas, innovations, goods and services. Let us challenge those who say the opposite.

His Excellency Frank-Walter Steinmeier opened his inspiring address with a gripping discussion on fear and uncertainty – particularly, of what the digital revolution and the recent political shifts may spell for the future. Compelling the audience to reimagine an ideal society where no one is left behind, H.E. Steinmeier shared his firm belief in an open and interconnected world that can be achieved through constant innovation, strong technological stewardship and a highly skilled workforce. His passionate delivery gave rise to a rousing Q&A session where the captivated audience launched equally stimulating questions his way, spanning a variety of topics including the European Union’s role in global integration, the implications of China as a rising powerhouse, his views on US President Trump, and even sought his advice on matters relating to a career in politics.

Media Coverage

In his speech at the Ho Rih Hwa Leadership Lecture organised by SMU, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier highlighted the ways that Germany and Singapore can work together to steer the digital revolution to benefit society as a whole rather than to profit a few. He cited four areas of co-operation, with innovation being key for both countries’ success. This hinges on technological leadership, research and a highly skilled workforce, he added. Dr Steinmeier shared that steps have been taken for such collaboration between the two countries' universities, research institutes and businesses. However, he believed that people must not be left behind as technological change sweeps society.

Addressing an 800-strong audience comprising students, educators, government officials and diplomats at the event held at SMU School of Law, he challenged his audience to think about the future they want for their own countries. Dr Steinmeier also spoke about how the ideal of Western liberal democracy has been challenged by issues in the European Union and the United States.