Message of the Ambassador, 17 September 2007
A very warm welcome back to this website after the summer. Since what we call, in France, the rentrée – return to school and work after the summer pause – is already well behind us, allow me to share with you a few thoughts.
Firstly with regards to our foreign policy. The President of the Republic, Mr Nicolas Sarkozy, has, on August 27, gathered all French Ambassadors to spell out its guidelines : a France strong at home in order to be respected and listened to abroad. A France at the core of Europe, a France embracing modernity in order to take its due place in globalization rather than shying away from it, a France proud of the values and ideas that shaped her history. This is the France which you can expect to find on the world stage, and this is already exemplified in Singapore much better than in most other places of the world. The landing at Changi Airport, in the afternoon of October 17, of the first commercial Airbus 380, to be operated by Singapore Airlines, will provide just one more illustration of what France and Europe can deliver in the field of advanced technologies.
Secondly, the French community here in the city-state is experiencing constant growth. The latest figure is 5,400 – a rise of nearly 10% in the course of one year – but the most spectacular increase is being witnessed at the French Lycée of Singapore, which now caters to some 1,340 students, a staggering 23 % increase since September 2006. It was a tour de force to operate smoothly within the unchanged space and it points to the need to quickly add more available space.
Thirdly, a rich cultural season is approaching. The 23rd Singapore French Film Festival will feature, from October 6 to 14, an appealing array of about 20 films making their debut screening here. Two virtuoso pianists, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Alexandre Tharaud are scheduled to play with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, and we expect the avant-garde choreographer and dancer Jérôme Bel to perform in October, as well as the Jacques Loussier trio later this year. Please check with our constantly updated “upcoming events” page of the Embassy’s website. The crowning of this season will doubtlessly come with the rare exhibition of the treasures of the Greek Antiquities Department of the Louvre Museum, made possible only by its closing for renovation works and to be shown at the National Museum of Singapore from December 9. I hope to see you there as well.
Ambassador of France to Singapore