Singaporeans who study in non-English speaking countries bring new perspectives: PM Lee

PARIS - It is important that Singapore students who go overseas to study do so in countries other than English-speaking ones, as they would then come back with different perspectives, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

He made this point when he called on French President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace on Monday.

On the issue of academic and student exchanges from both countries, Mr Lee noted that many Singapore students came to France and he had in fact met a few on Sunday night.

Mr Hollande and Mr Lee also discussed bilateral ties, which date back to 1965.

They reaffirmed the two countries' strategic partnership and discussed ways to improve trade and investments.

Also on the agenda: the European Union-Singapore free trade agreement and how it would aid both sides and boost trade and investment.

Singapore also thanked France for hosting its RSAF training facility in Cazaux.

Both men discussed developments in Asia and the Eurozone. Mr Hollande said that the Eurozone had stabilised and noted that there were many opportunities for Singapore to invest and work with French companies.

Mr Lee, who is on an official visit to France, later met Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. They affirmed the good co-operation the two countries share in the area of defence and discussed regional developments.