PARIS: Singapore start-ups and companies can look forward to improved access to the French market, as well as support in facilitation and funding for joint innovation projects with French companies.
This will be done through methods such as joint initiatives and immersion programmes, under the three agreements signed between Singapore and France on Thursday (Jul 12), which are aimed at deepening economic and innovation linkages between both countries.
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing described the partnerships as being crucial in promoting openness, amidst the backdrop of increasing protectionism and global sentiments to look inwards.
“We must make sure that we have this network to allow our people and our start-ups the same opportunities to access the global network. The pace of innovation has intensified, the kind of reach that today’s technology can allow is much different from what we used to be able to do in the past,” he said.
“So we should seize all these opportunities to plug ourselves into these networks around the world to further our cause to create better jobs for our people and more opportunities for our businesses.”
Mr Chan said these global linkages would enable Singapore companies and workers to learn from expertise from around the world and bolster their efforts to internationalise.
He was speaking at the signing of the Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) between Enterprise Singapore, the Economic Development Board and French institutions during his visit to Paris.
Mr Jonathan Lim, Enterprise Singapore’s director for Global Innovation Alliance, said: “The partnerships aim to boost Singapore’s startup ecosystem by promoting exchange between French and Singaporean startups, especially in deeptech. Similarly, we hope to establish more collaborations between French enterprises and Singaporean start-ups to co-create and co-innovate solutions for Europe and Asia.”
All in, the deals signed is part of the broader effort to establish and expand the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) programmes in Paris.
The alliance was launched last year to strengthen Singapore's links to innovation hubs around the world, create more opportunities for Singaporeans students, entrepreneurs and businesses to connect and collaborate with their overseas counterparts and gain overseas experience.
While in Paris, Mr Chan also visited start-up campus Station F to better understand the vibrant innovation culture in France.
The visit, along with the agreements signed, underscored Singapore's commitment to deepen innovation links with France, as part of the France-Singapore Year of Innovation 2018, where both countries will intensify exchanges and collaborations in the innovation space.
Mr Chan Ih Ming, director of the Global Innovation Alliance Programme Office, said: “France has a rich history of innovation, a tradition that is further bolstered by the French government’s drive to create a more innovative economy during this Year of Innovation.
"Welcoming Paris into the GIA network will not only strengthen partnerships between French and Singaporean enterprises, but also drive the growth of our startup ecosystems, and benefit both our economies.”