PM Lee invites France's new PM to S'pore

Mr Edouard Philippe  was appointed French Prime Minister on Monday (May 15).
Mr Edouard Philippe was appointed French Prime Minister on Monday (May 15). PHOTO: AFP

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

Mr Lee in his letter, sent yesterday, invited Mr Philippe, 46, 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 noted that 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 between the two countries, 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 next year 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 Mr Philippe.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 19, 2017, with the headline 'PM Lee invites France's new PM to S'pore'. Print Edition | Subscribe