The Executive Director of the French Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, Carine Lespayandel pinpoints the key facets of the Singaporean economy that have captivated the continued interests of French companies, while highlighting the chamber’s fundamental role in facilitating investment growth between the two countries moving forward.
What underlying factors have characterized Singapore as such an appealing investment destination for French companies?
Singapore is indeed an attractive investment destination, and especially for the biomedical sector, because it has sophisticated infrastructure, a relevantly skilled workforce and great logistical connectivity to regional markets. Most notably, it has a robust intellectual property framework, ranked fourth in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2015/2016, that bolsters the confidence of medical technology firms and investors.
As such, several French companies have set up their regional HQs, manufacturing sites, and R&D centers in Singapore. Global healthcare leader Sanofi for instance has made Singapore its global manufacturing base. International SOS, the world’s leading medical and travel security risk services company, bioMérieux, a leader in in vitro diagnostics, and Servier, a leading French independent pharmaceutical company, have made Singapore their regional headquarters. There are also many companies engaged in research and product development in Singapore, many with their own R&D centers and labs, from Essilor (in ophthalmic optics) to Danone Nutricia (medical nutrition) to L’Oréal (skin biology).
In terms of research and scientific institutes there is also no scarcity. CNRS (The French National Centre for Scientific Research) set up its ASEAN regional office in Singapore in 2014. Between Singapore and France, there are several joint research programs and laboratories that pool together our human and material resources.
We have a very dynamic community here in Singapore, thanks to the very favorable environment for the sector… (read the full interview)