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Remarks by Minister for Transport Mr Chee Hong Tat at the French-Singaporean Maritime Networking Event

Her Excellency Minh-di Tang, Ambassador of France to Singapore,

Mr Eric Banel, Director General for French Maritime Affairs, Fisheries and Aquaculture,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening,

I am delighted to join you this evening to celebrate the launch of the France-Singapore Joint Year of Sustainability and the long-standing partnership between France and Singapore in the maritime domain.

Last week in Paris, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to work towards upgrading bilateral relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, ahead of our 60th anniversary of relations in 2025. This is a fitting testament to the strong partnership between our countries, and I look forward to the deepening of our bilateral ties and cooperation, including in the area of transport.

The Joint Year of Sustainability was also launched in Paris last week, and is an important opportunity for stakeholders in the French and Singaporean ecosystems to exchange ideas and build new partnerships. I encourage all our French and Singaporean partners from the maritime industry, academia and government to actively participate in the initiatives under the Joint Year of Sustainability.

Appreciation for the French Embassy and DGAMPA

I would also like to express my appreciation to the Embassy of France in Singapore and the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs, Fisheries and Aquaculture (DGAMPA) for your strong support and partnership over the years. The French embassy has been an important link to facilitate maritime collaboration between the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the DGAMPA.

In April 2021, MPA and the DGAMPA, with the support of the French embassy, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in the Maritime Field to promote synergies between the French and Singaporean maritime ecosystems in digitalisation, innovation and decarbonisation. The French embassy and MPA are co-leading a steering committee to operationalise areas of cooperation under the MoU.

French maritime presence in Singapore

I am also happy to see that many French maritime companies have established a strong presence here and are important partners in growing Maritime Singapore.

Bureau Veritas (BV), a French company that specialises in testing, inspection and certification, established its Singapore office in 1973. Over the past 50 years, it has grown its local presence significantly. In September 2022, MPA signed an MoU with BV to support the development of the local maritime sector, by catalysing R&D and joint industry projects in digital classification services, smart shipping, maritime decarbonisation, and talent development.

Another French company, CMA CGM, has been a longstanding and strong partner of Maritime Singapore.

As an action partner under the Green and Digital Shipping Corridor between MPA and the Port of Rotterdam, CMA CGM has participated actively in various workstreams, such as the Bio-methane and Commercial Structures Working Groups, to facilitate pilot projects and commercial structures to accelerate the uptake of zero and near-zero emission fuels.

CMA CGM will also be exploring the implementation of e-Bills of Lading through the TradeTrust framework to facilitate inter-operability across systems and promote the wider use of e-Bills of Lading in the industry.

Beyond its efforts in advancing digitalisation and decarbonisation, CMA CGM has contributed to talent development, a key enabler of the growth of our maritime industry. Since 2018, CMA CGM has supported eight interns through MPA’s Global Internship Award.

There are many more examples of how French companies have contributed to the growth of Maritime Singapore, and there are more exciting opportunities ahead for collaboration.


Ladies and gentlemen, at the opening ceremony of the Singapore Maritime Week yesterday, I spoke about our target to grow Maritime Singapore as a global hub in three areas – as a global hub for maritime innovation, for reliable and resilient maritime operations, and for maritime talent development.  These goals can only be achieved with close collaboration between like-minded countries, international stakeholders and our tripartite partners.

I look forward to closer partnerships to grow Maritime Singapore and collectively address the evolving needs of the maritime industry. My colleagues and I will ensure that Singapore remains pro-business and connected to the world; and continues to welcome capital, ideas and complementary international talent. 

For our industry players, we will do our best to support your growth in Singapore and the region, and to explore new areas together with you to deepen our collaborations. Thank you. 

SOURCE: Ministry of Transport


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