President Tan meets Mayor of Paris

President Tan meets Mayor of Paris
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo (right) welcoming President Tony Tan Keng Yam and his wife Mary to the French capital’s City Hall yesterday. The President and Ms Hidalgo had a good exchange on the challenges faced by cities such as Singapore and Paris, according to Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

President Tony Tan Keng Yam, who is midway through a week-long state visit to France, yesterday spent the morning in Paris at the sprawling Hotel de Ville.

There, he met the city's Mayor Anne Hidalgo, and mingled with Singaporeans invited to a reception hosted by the mayor's office.

At the Hotel de Ville, the seat of the local administration since 1357, Dr Tan received a red carpet welcome.

The President and Ms Hidalgo had a good exchange on the challenges faced by cities such as Singapore and Paris, according to Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The two said they looked forward to greater city-to-city cooperation, especially in the development of smart cities, urban solutions, entrepreneurship and climate change.

Dr Tan also welcomed Paris' intention to bid for the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize. Organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore and the Centre for Liveable Cities, the biennial prize honours vibrant and sustainable cities around the world.

After his meeting with Ms Hidalgo, Dr Tan mingled with about 30 Singaporeans living in France. They included students on exchange programmes, businessmen and Singaporeans married to French nationals.

In the afternoon, Dr Tan took a train to the port city of Bordeaux in south-western France.

He was hosted to dinner by Mr Matthias Fekl, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Tourism Promotion and French Nationals Abroad.

Today, Dr Tan will make a trip to Cazaux Air Base, about 60km outside Bordeaux, to meet Singaporean personnel and their families based there.

The Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF's) 150 Squadron - its advanced jet training detachment - has been training its fighter pilots in Cazaux since 1998. Dr Tan had visited the air base then, when he was Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister.

About 60 RSAF personnel and their families are living on the base.

Before leaving Paris, Dr Tan visited the lab of Dr Serge Haroche, a joint winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physics.

"France is a world leader in scientific research and technological development, and I hope to see more collaborations between Singapore researchers and scientists and their counterparts in France," Dr Tan wrote in a Facebook post after the visit on Tuesday afternoon.

This article was first published on May 21, 2015.
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