Schäuble wants to kick-start negotiations on an agreement during his trip to Singapore next week, the Bild newspaper reported Saturday, citing unnamed government sources.
The finance minister’s move follows new suggestions that rich Germans are shifting billions of euros from Switzerland to Singapore because CDs stolen from Swiss banks could reveal their hidden cash. Germany is also planning a new tax agreement with Switzerland.
Singapore has yet to react to Schäuble’s proposal. The East Asian financial metropolis already has a tax agreement with Germany, and in October 2009 its parliament passed a law allowing it to force banks to reveal account details in the case of suspected tax evasion.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also took Singapore off its list of dubious tax havens in 2009, but in practice it remains difficult for investigators to find information on potential evaders.
In 2011, the OECD criticized Singapore’s existing tax agreements for containing too many loopholes.