S'pore, France working on reciprocal green lane for business, official travel

The two countries also signed an MOU to step up bilateral cooperation to improve food safety standards.
The two countries also signed an MOU to step up bilateral cooperation to improve food safety standards.PHOTOS: LIM YAOHUI, AFP

Singapore and France are working on a reciprocal green lane for short-term business and official trips.

The framework for the arrangement has been agreed between French Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness Franck Riester and Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Transport Chee Hong Tat, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement yesterday.

Mr Riester is in Singapore for a three-day visit from Sunday to today to strengthen bilateral ties.

He was hosted to lunch by Mr Chee yesterday and also witnessed, together with Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Amy Khor, the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to step up bilateral cooperation to improve food safety standards in both countries.

The MOU aims to enhance scientific and technical partnership in food safety testing and research, said the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).

Signed by SFA chief executive officer Lim Kok Thai and French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety director general Roger Genet, the MOU affirmed the commitment by Singapore and France to consumer health by strengthening the exchange of knowledge, research cooperation and expert assessments.

Potential areas of collaboration will include risk assessment of chemical and microbiological food safety hazards, safety assessments of novel foods and emerging food safety risks.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said he met Mr Riester, and they "discussed opportunities to further enhance our bilateral economic relations".

This includes greater collaboration in areas such as sustainability, biomedical services, advanced manufacturing and enhancing the logistics network in both countries.

"Singapore and France are also keen to strengthen our digital economy cooperation, such as through a Digital Economy Agreement," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 15, 2020, with the headline 'S'pore, France working on reciprocal green lane for business, official travel'. Subscribe