SINGAPORE - France and Singapore have vowed to expand their collaborations in areas such as creating smart and sustainable cities, fintech, health, biotechnology and start-ups.
France-Singapore Year of Innovation 2018, launched on Monday (Jan 22), will see the nations host events such as VivaTechnology, a global innovation festival to be held in France in May, and the Smart Nation Innovations Week in Singapore the following month.
Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran and France's Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Frederique Vidal met to discuss how the two countries can cooperate on innovation.
Dr Vidal and Senior Minister of State for Communications & Information and Education, Janil Puthucheary, will hold a roundtable on Tuesday, themed 'From Research to Innovation', at the National University of Singapore.
The partnership was announced in March last year by then-French president Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the former's state visit to Singapore.
France is Singapore's second-largest trading partner in the European Union and 16th largest in the world, with total trade close to S$17 billion.
In 2017, The Monetary Authority of Singapore signed agreements with French authorities for both countries to share information about emerging fintech trends, potential joint innovation projects, and relevant regulatory issues.
The two countries also inked agreements at the Singapore-France Innovation Forum in 2017 for research collaboration in areas including digital engineering and electric vehicles.
This year has also been designated as the Asean-China Year of Innovation, which aims to promote new technologies, digitalisation and creative solutions.