New stamp issue marks 50 years of Singapore-France ties

May 27th, 2015 got to know that the iconic Eiffel Tower and Merlion get a street art makeover in the latest joint stamp issue by Singapore and France. President Tony Tan Keng Yam and France's President Francois Hollande unveiled two new stamps of these landmarks to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries on the 18th of May.

The stamp issue is part of the Singapore in France festival, a three-month-long showcase of Singapore's contemporary art and culture in seven cities around France.

It is the second collaboration between Singapore Post and French mail service La Poste. The first, in 2013, showcased the fashion industries of both countries.

The latest release comprises two stamps: a 1st Local stamp designed by French artist Sophie Beaujard featuring the Eiffel Tower on a graffiti-scrawled wall, and a S$2 stamp with the Merlion wearing sunglasses, created by Singapore designer Ivory Seah.

Before the unveiling of the stamps, Dr. Tan and Mr. Hollande witnessed the signing of several agreements spanning the fields of education, nuclear safety, renewable energy and cyber security.

Singapore's newly-formed Cyber Security Agency on Monday signed its first international agreement, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with France's Network and Information Security Agency to pave the way for the sharing of information and best practices in cyber security.

Another agreement was signed between the National University of Singapore (NUS) and France's Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN). This will allow the Singapore Nuclear Research and Safety Initiative, launched by the National Research Foundation last year and hosted at NUS, to work with the French agency in research and training programmes in nuclear safety.

France, which has over 50 nuclear reactors, gets more than 70 per cent of its electricity from nuclear energy. A Singapore government study in 2012 found current nuclear energy technologies not suitable for Singapore as yet but said it should take part in global and regional talks on nuclear safety.

NUS and the Nanyang Technological University also signed MOUs to strengthen partnerships with renowned French institutes. Both universities will deepen collaboration and research with the institutions under elite mega-university Universite Paris-Sarclay, including research organizations like the Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission.

NTU also signed an agreement which will allow it to offer a joint PhD programme with the Sorbonne Universities, the second largest group of universities and research organizations in France. This programme will focus on humanities, engineering and science.

In addition, NTU will work to set up a network on renewable energies with France's National Centre for Scientific Research.

50 years of Singapore-France ties – Souvenir Sheet