Political Relations

French-Singaporean relations are excellent and dense in numerous fields. They are now maintained within the framework of a common declaration on strategic partnership, signed on 18 October 2012, during the official visit of the Prime Minister in Singapore.

The President of the Republic of Singapore, Mr Tony Tan, visited France from 17 to 23 May. This visit took place as France and Singapore celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations this year. France is one of the first thirteen countries which recognized the independence of Singapore in 1965.

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photo credits : Présidence de la République

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photo credits : Présidence de la République

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photo credits : Présidence de la République

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photo credits : Présidence de la République

A year after the visit of Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to Singapore and the signing of the strategic partnership between our two countries, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong went to France on October 27-30 on an official visit,

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Photo credits : Presidency of the Republic

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Photo credits : Presidency of the Republic

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Photo credits : Services of the Prime Minister

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Photo credits : Services of the Prime Minister

The visit by the Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on 18 - 19 October 2012 has strengthened bilateral relations to that of a strategic partnership. This agreement was signed in a meeting with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

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Signing of the common declaration on strategic partnership, 18 October 2012
(Photo : Pierre Chabaud/Matignon)

Bilateral political relations have entered a new phase in 2008 with the official visit that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore made to France from 21 to 23 January 2008. It was Mr. Lee’s second visit to France as prime minister and the first time that he met with President Nicolas Sarkozy.

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President Nicolas Sarkozy welcoming visiting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore to the Elysee Palace (Paris, 21/01/2008)
(Photo: F. de la Mure /MAEE)

Recent years have been marked by the working visit made by President Jacques Chirac to Singapore on 6 October 2004, prior to the ASEM V Summit in Hanoi and his official visit to China. On this occasion, the French President met Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

The latter had previously been received by President Chirac on 22 September 2004 in the framework of a dialogue that has long taken on a yearly rhythm. Mr Lee Hsien Loong, who visited France in January 2003 as vice-prime minister, returned there on 28 and 29 November 2005 as Prime Minister and was received by both President Chirac and Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin.

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Meeting of Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin of France and Prime Minister LEE Hsien Loong of Singapore, in Paris.
© F. de la Mure/French Foreign Ministry.}

In October 2006, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, stayed one week in the French capital for a J.P. Morgan board meeting in Paris, and had a meeting at the Elysee Palace on 6 October with President Jacques Chirac.
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On 27 June 2007, while on a private visit in Paris, Mr. LEE Kuan Yew, Minister Mentor of Singapore, met Mr. Nicolas SARKOZY, President of France, in a first meeting between Mr. Lee and the newly elected French President at the Elysee Palace.

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D. Noizet © Service photographique de la Présidence de la République - Tous droits réservés.

In March 2007, Mr. Christian Poncelet, President of the French Senate, made an official visit to Singapore as the head of a delegation comprising three senators. They met with President S.R. Nathan of the Republic of Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Mr. Abdullah Tarmugi, Speaker of the Singapore Parliament.

At the ministerial level, bilateral visits have been regular :

- Mr Bernard Kouchner and the Secretary of state for foreign affairs and human rights, Ms Rama Yade, made official visits to Singapore. In July 2008, Ms Rama Yade visited Singapore to represent the European Union at the 15th Meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum.

- In 2009, Mr Eric Woerth, Minister for the Budget and Public Accounts (10 - 11 July) and Ms Christine Lagarde, Minister for Economic Affairs, Finances and Industry, (12 - 13 November) visited Singapore. Ms Lagarde revisited the nation in February 2011.

- Mr Luc Chatel, Minister for National Education, Youth and Community (January 2011) and Mr Thierry Mariani, Secretary of State for transport (February 2011) also made official visits to Singapore. Ms Anne-Marie Idrac, Secretary of state for Foreign Commerce came to Singapore in June 2010. Mr Lawrence Wong, Secretary of State for defence, was in France in June 2011.

- Mr Gérard Longuet, Minister for Defence, and Mr Francis Delon, Secretary General for Defence and National Security visited Singapore in February 2012 for the Singapore Airshow 2012.

- In June 2012, Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Defence, made a visit to Singapore, from 1st to 3rd June 2012, for the 11th session of the Shangri-La Dialogue.

- In October 2012, Ms Nicole Bricq, Minister for Foreign Trade, and Ms Conway-Mouret, Minister for overseas French visited Singapore.

At the senior civil servants’ level, these exchanges have been completed by numerous and regular contacts, notably those at the annual political consultations of the secretary-generals of the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs, of which the last session was held on 29 March 2011 in Paris.

French-Singaporean Coopération in Southeast Asia

France and Singapore signed a letter of intention on their joint coopération in Southeast Asia. This letter was signed on 16 March 2007 in Paris par Mr. Philippe Faure, Secretary General for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Peter Ho, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Singapore.

The two countries cooperate in technical aid since 2001 to Southeast Asian nations and this letter of intention confirms their desire to maintain this stance. It defines the areas where our cooperation will be carried out and improves the level of training of public servants : governance, health and higher education.

This joint action illustrates the will of engagement of France in Southeast Asia, as demonstrated by the decision to adher to the ASEAN Friendship and Cooperation Treaty, of which the implementation process was set in place during the ASEAN summit in Cebu.

Dernière modification : 22/07/2015

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