PARIS - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong arrives in France on Friday (July 13) for an official visit, during which he will take part in the French National Day parade in Paris as guest of honour.
The three-day visit, at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron, comes as both countries commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) undergoing advanced jet training in France's Cazaux Air Base, and expand cooperation in innovation, said a statement from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
During his trip, Mr Lee will call on Mr Macron and be hosted to dinner by the French President, and will also have a separate meeting with Prime Minister Édouard Philippe.
The July 14 French National Day celebrations, also known as the Bastille Day parade, marks the fall of Bastille during the French Revolution in 1789.
The parade, which involves a military parade down the Champs-Elysées, will feature a France-Singapore combined fly-past this year.
Soldiers bearing the flags of Singapore and Japan will also march alongside French troops.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will also attend this year's parade as guest of honour, as Japan marks 160 years of diplomatic ties with France. Last year, United States President Donald Trump was the parade's guest of honour.
This year is also the Singapore-France Year of Innovation, an initiative agreed on when former French president Francois Hollande was in Singapore for a state visit last year, and Singapore and France will expand innovation partnerships.
PM Lee and Mr Macron will issue a France-Singapore Road Map for Deepening Cooperation in Digital Innovation, Internet Governance, and Cybersecurity.
Several bilateral agreements in the areas of innovation, artificial intelligence, research and development, student exchanges, and energy will also be signed, in conjunction with the visit.
While in Paris, PM Lee will also attend a lunch with French industry leaders, and a reception with overseas Singaporeans.
The RSAF began training at the Cazaux Air Base in 1998. Located along the south-western coast of France, the base offers Singapore pilots the chance to train in an airspace 32 times the size of Singapore.
More than 180 Singapore pilots have undergone training at Cazaux over the past 20 years.
Accompanying PM Lee on the visit are Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Culture, Community and Youth Sim Ann, and officials from the PMO, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of Communications and Information.
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean will be the Acting Prime Minister from Friday (July 13) to Monday (July 16).