Singapore and France working towards stronger ties with Comprehensive Strategic Partnership ahead of 60th anniversary of relations

Singapore and France working towards stronger ties with Comprehensive Strategic Partnership ahead of 60th anniversary of relations
Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong calling on French President Emmanuel Macron on April 11.
PHOTO: Lianhe Zaobao

PARIS — Singapore and France will work towards stronger ties with a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) ahead of 2025, the 60th anniversary of relations between the two countries.

The announcement came after a working dinner between Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong and his host, French President Emmanuel Macron, on April 11.

The upgrade in relations to a CSP reflects the multifaceted co-operation between both countries and the joint desire to develop a forward-looking framework for co-operation in new sectors like the digital economy, said a Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement.

Singapore already has a CSP with Australia — a broad-ranging agreement covering the five pillars of economics and trade, defence and foreign affairs, science and innovation, the digital economy, and people-to-people.

During their meeting, DPM Wong and Macron noted that bilateral co-operation between their countries had deepened since the joint declaration elevating relations from an enhanced partnership to a strategic partnership was signed in October 2012.

France was the first European country to establish diplomatic relations with Singapore in 1965, and the only European Union member state that Singapore has a strategic partnership with.   

The two leaders, who expressed satisfaction with the strong and substantive ties between their nations, also launched the France-Singapore Joint Year of Sustainability (JYOS).

The year-long initiative will highlight bilateral co-operation in sustainable development and the green transition.

The JYOS will have a series of sustainability-focused events and initiatives from April 2024 to mid-2025, coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Singapore and France.

DPM Wong and Macron also discussed ways to further enhance co-operation between France and the region, including on initiatives like the Asean power grid.

DPM Wong, who is also Finance Minister, is on an official visit to France from April 10 to 13. He also visited Germany from April 8 to 10. This is his first visit to Europe in his current capacity.

Singapore and France have longstanding defence ties and robust economic, security, culture, research and education co-operation. They are also deepening co-operation in emerging areas such as the green and digital economies, clean and renewable energy, sustainability and cyber security.

France is Singapore's second-largest trading partner in the EU, while Singapore is France's top trading partner in Asean. Total bilateral trade in goods and services exceeded $30 billion in 2023.

France is the Republic's fourth-largest EU investor, with almost 2,600 French enterprises operating here.

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This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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