PM Lee congratulates new French PM Edouard Philippe, invites him to visit Singapore

The newly appointed French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe arrives at the Elysee palace in Paris on May 18, 2017.
The newly appointed French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe arrives at the Elysee palace in Paris on May 18, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has written a letter to congratulate Mr Edouard Philippe, who was appointed French Prime Minister on Monday (May 15) by newly inaugurated French President Emmanuel Macron.

Mr Lee in his letter, sent on Thursday (May 18), welcomed Mr Philippe to visit Singapore. He said France and Singapore enjoy a "close, mutually beneficial partnership that covers a broad range of areas from defence and security to education and culture".

"Bilateral trade and investment have grown steadily over the years," said Mr Lee, citing the 2012 France-Singapore Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership that reflects " broad and substantive cooperation".

He said Singapore hosts 1,800 French enterprises, many of which are active in key growth sectors and play an important role in Singapore's development.

Mr Lee said he was confident that the Joint Declaration on Innovation, issued in March 2017, will foster greater bilateral cooperation in innovative sectors, such as space technology, renewable energies, FinTech, healthcare and biomedical sciences, smart urban solutions and cyber security.

Mr Lee had signed the declaration with former French president Francois Hollande, and the pair declared 2018 as the France-Singapore Year of Innovation, with events encouraging more collaboration in innovation to be held in both countries.

"I look forward to working closely with you to strengthen the friendship between our two countries and peoples," wrote Mr Lee in his letter to the 46-year-old Mr Philippe. "I welcome you to make a visit to Singapore. I wish you every success and hope to meet you soon."

The letter in full:

Letter from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe

18 May 2017

Dear Prime Minister Philippe,

Congratulations on your appointment as Prime Minister of the French Republic.

France and Singapore enjoy a close and mutually beneficial partnership that covers a broad range of areas from defence and security to education and culture. The France-Singapore Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership, signed in 2012, reflects our broad and substantive cooperation. Bilateral trade and investment have grown steadily over the years. Singapore hosts 1,800 French enterprises, many of which are active in our key growth sectors and play an important role in Singapore's development.

I am confident that the Joint Declaration on Innovation, issued in March 2017, will foster greater bilateral cooperation in innovative sectors, such as space technology, renewable energies, FinTech, healthcare and biomedical sciences, smart urban solutions and cybersecurity.

I look forward to working closely with you to strengthen the friendship between our two countries and peoples. I welcome you to make a visit to Singapore. I wish you every success and hope to meet you soon.

Yours sincerely,

LEE HSIEN LOONG