World Economy

France-Singapore Expand Economic Links

France-Singapore Expand Economic LinksFrance-Singapore Expand Economic Links

The future of Singapore and France’s partnership lies in the expansion of economic links, said French President Francois Hollande at state banquet held in honor of Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam on Monday evening.

“Seven hundred French businesses currently operate in Singapore, and roughly 40 Singaporean companies in France. We must go further,” President Hollande said. “The negotiations between the Public Investment Bank (BPI), Caisse des Depots and the Singaporean sovereign wealth funds GIC and Temasek may soon lead to joint projects, Channel NewsAsia reported.

“There are also opportunities in transport, particularly the high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, as well as in aeronautics and urban mobility – such as expanding the Autolib electric car-sharing service to Singapore,” he added.

President Tan noted that Singapore is the largest export destination for France in Southeast Asia and more than 1,400 French companies are registered in Singapore. In France, Singapore companies like the Ascott Group are also well-established.

In 2012, Singapore-France relations were elevated further with the signing of a Strategic Partnership. It was Singapore’s second such partnership, after one inked with the United States.

Tan said the signing of several agreements earlier on Monday would also expand and deepen bilateral cooperation into new areas – such as cyber security and nuclear safety. He raised a toast to the two countries’ bilateral relationship which he said has grown despite many differences.

“France and Singapore are different in our history, geography and socio-cultural context,” he said. “Yet, despite the differences, we have built up a solid partnership over the last 50 years since diplomatic relations were established. We work closely for mutual benefit in many areas including business, education, scientific research and defense, to name a few.”