President Ueli Maurer receives the Singaporean Minister of Defence

Bern, 18.10.2013 - President Ueli Maurer today received the Singaporean Minister of Defence, Dr. Ng Eng Hen, on an official working visit at the Lohn country residence. The talks focused on an exchange of views on compulsory military service.

During the talks President Maurer explained Switzerland's defence system, with particular regard to its militia personnel and the deep-rooted acceptance of the armed forces among the population. As Singapore also has compulsory military service, Defence Minister Ng was interested in approaches to achieving  a balance between work, family life and education on the one hand and military service obligations on the other, and to promoting social acceptance and respect for conscripts. President Maurer informed the delegation from Singapore about how military training, particularly cadre training, can be designed so that the demands and needs of the private sector can better be taken into account. President Maurer also discussed issues relating to international security and economic affairs with his counterpart.

In addition, both parties agreed to begin negotiations at the earliest opportunity on an information protection agreement. Such an agreement primarily forms the basis for exchanges of information and experiences in the field of research and development, as well as for greater cooperation in the medium term. The Swiss Armed Forces and the Singaporean Armed Forces operate similarly configured armament systems such as the Pilatus PC-21 trainer aircraft and the Leopard 2 battle tank.

Singapore is an interesting cooperation partner for the armed forces which is why the DDPS has traditionally cultivated good contacts with the southeast Asian state. Singapore has very modern armed forces that rely on compulsory military service and which serve primarily to ensure a powerful and credible national defence. With its 5.2 million inhabitants and a national territory of 700 km2  Singapore invests USD 12.3 billion in defence (3.6% of its GDP).

Address for enquiries

Karin Suini
DDPS spokesperson
+41 31 324 50 86


Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports