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Singapore, France agree to keep supply chains for essential food open and connected

[SINGAPORE] Singapore and France have agreed to maintain open and connected supply chains for essential food supplies during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Both countries affirmed their intention to do so in a joint statement by Singapore's Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing and France's Minister of Agriculture and Food Didier Guillaume on Monday.

The statement said the ministers recognise it is in their mutual interest to ensure transport and delivery links remain open.

This will facilitate the flow of essential food and agricultural products, which is important for food security.

"The Ministers will work with relevant service providers in respect of the air and sea freight needs for the supply of food and agricultural products under the framework of this joint statement," it said.

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Both ministers will also facilitate partnerships and collaboration between food companies, importers, and distributors of their two countries.

In a statement on Monday, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said the joint ministerial statement was issued following a video conference between Mr Chan and Mr Guillaume the same day.

They were joined by Singapore's Ambassador to France Zainal Mantaha and French Ambassador to Singapore Marc Abensour.

Mr Chan said that the two nations were strategic partners, and economic relations have been strengthened by the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement that came into force last November.

"Beyond enhancing bilateral trade in agri-food products, there is much we can do with French partners in areas such as agri-food technology, food safety standards," he said.

French agri-food exporters can also use Singapore as a platform to serve the rest of South-east Asia, said Mr Chan.

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