Titled “France and Singapore, Strategic Partners in a Fast-Changing World”, the talk touched on the excellent and multifaceted relations between Singapore and France.
His Excellency François Hollande, President of the French Republic delivered the 40th Singapore Lecture. (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)
French President Hollande calls for defence of international openness and collaboration
Monday, 27 March 2017 – French President François Hollande presented an impassioned defence of the open exchange of ideas, people, goods and services which had been fostered for decades through collaboration between governments throughout the world.
He was delivering the 40th Singapore Lecture, chaired by DPM and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam.
Deputy Prime Minister & Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam delivering his opening address (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)
President Hollande exhorted that, with the world facing the many challenges posed by an increasingly uncertain future, both France and Singapore should work to disregard inward-looking and backward-looking nationalism and populism.
According to President Hollande, France and Singapore share many similarities in both values and outlook. Both countries prize multilateralism, innovation, and respect for the rule of law and the environment, both have taken a stand against hate speech and terrorism, and both have worked hard to promote more tolerant and welcoming societies.
In his “message of lucidity and truth”, the President took the opportunity to thank Singapore for its role in forging the Paris Agreement, and reiterated France’s commitment to closer cooperation and more frequent exchanges between Asia and Europe, and between ASEAN and EU in the security and economic realms.
He ended by emphasising the importance of the shared legacy of cooperation between France and Singapore, which will be boosted through the Joint Declaration of Innovation and the strategic partnership between both countries. The continuation of that cooperation between France and Singapore would be a fitting tribute to Lee Kuan Yew and Jacques Chirac, who were both founding fathers of ASEM.
Professor Wang Gungwu, Chairman of the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute Board of Trustees, presented President Hollande with a pottery piece crafted by one of Singapore’s foremost potters, Mr Chua Soo Kim, entitled “Blue Network”. The Blue Network is part of his Crackle Glaze series and is inspired by our daily lifestyle using online networks for work communication and connection.
Prof Wang Gungwu, Chairman of ISEAS Board of Trustees presenting the “Blue Network” to His Excellency, President François Hollande. (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)
President François Hollande’s lecture was attended by Mr Ng Chee Meng, Minister for Education (Schools) and Second Minister for Transport; Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth; Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Second Minister for Defence; Mrs Josephine Teo, Senior Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office; Foreign Affairs and Transport; Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs; and Mr Zainal Arif Mantaha, Singapore Ambassador to France.
The delegation from the French Republic included Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Defence, France; Mr Jean-Marie Le Guen, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie; Mr Christophe Sirugue, Minister of State for the Industry, Digital Sector and Innovation; HE Marc Abensour, Ambassador of France to Singapore; Members of Parliament and government officials.
Some of the VIPs at the 40th Singapore Lecture. (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)
More than 1000 people, including diplomats, government officials, business leaders, academics, students and members of the media, attended the lecture.
The Singapore Lecture series is an intellectual highlight designed for world statesmen and leaders to present their insights on relevant issues of regional significance to a wider audience in Singapore. The most recent Singapore lectures were delivered by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
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Last updated 5 April 2017, 1000hr