France-Singapore Road Map for deepening cooperation in digital innovation, internet governance and cybersecurity (13 July 2018)


Signed by the french President Emmanuel Macron and the Prime minister of the Republic of singapore, Lee Hsien Loong.

1. In the framework of the France-Singapore Year of Innovation in 2018, both countries are working to seek synergies and promote concrete partnerships between their innovation ecosystems. Both sides recognise the importance of pursuing and deepening institutional dialogue regarding digital technologies, Internet governance and cybersecurity cooperation.

2. France and Singapore recognise the growing role of digital technologies in the lives of their citizens and in the routine functions of government and business, and understand their potential to transform society and empower people to lead meaningful and fulfilled lives. Both sides share the desire to harness technology to improve peoples’ experiences, create economic opportunity, and build closer communities.

3. Arising from an increased fragmentation of cyber space due to the increase of cyberattacks, attempts to destabilise through misinformation, as well as the rising influence of digital platforms, France and Singapore reaffirm their commitment to a multi-stakeholder model, and to an open, interoperable, reliable, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful ICT environment which is essential for all and requires effective cooperation among States to reduce the risks to international peace and stability. They further reaffirm their commitment to the development of a trustworthy cyber domain that respects national sovereignty, based on compliance with domestic legislation and existing international law, including with regards to cooperation and the peaceful resolution of disputes.

4. France and Singapore share a common desire to support the development of innovation in their digital technology industries, while pursuing a secure digital ecosystem that responsibly protects user data. Both sides intend to conduct exchanges of views and ideas on regulatory approaches for the appropriate uses and protection of data in the digital ecosystem. To achieve this objective, both sides agree to an agenda built around the following priorities:

a. The cybersecurity agencies of France and Singapore continue to enjoy close and regular cybersecurity cooperation under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of Cybersecurity Cooperation signed in May 2015. This cooperation will be continued and reinforced. Given the transboundary nature of cyber-attacks, it is important for all countries to work closely together to address cybersecurity threats which are increasingly sophisticated and cross-cutting in nature, especially in the area of Transnational Critical Information Infrastructures such as banking and finance, telecommunications, aviation, and maritime. Both sides reaffirm their shared commitment to promote international stability by supporting ongoing discussions related to the application of international law to cyberspace, the respect of voluntary, non-binding norms of responsible state behavior, and the implementation of practical confidence building measures, supported by cooperative capacity building. In this regard, both sides support the strengthening of dialogue between the European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), in order to encourage the exchange of best practices regarding norms of responsible cyber activity, confidence building measures between states, and technical standards.

b. With the operationalisation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the adoption of Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), both sides aim to strengthen partnerships and the flow of cross-border data between governments and private enterprises so as to support innovation while affording personal data the necessary protection. This dialogue will facilitate trade and communication between Singapore and France. Both sides will continue to strengthen the development and integration of their economies, while maintaining a level of data protection that is responsible and trusted. The adequacy of data protection systems between Europe and Singapore would facilitate the flow of information and trade.

c. Both sides intend to deepen dialogue and the exchange of best practices regarding e-government, and commit to use data and digital services to transform the way citizens and businesses are served. The digital transformation of both governments will be a key focus of this new bilateral partnership.

d. Having identified the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities as a priority, France and Singapore intend to undertake cooperation in science and sustainable economics. Both sides agree to put in place a regular exchange of best practices regarding governance and adaptation of law, in order to ensure AI is used in the service of humanity and the well-being of societies. The two sides support the adoption of a MOU on AI cooperation concluded by AI Singapore and French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), French Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), and French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA).

e. Both sides will have a regular dialogue on digital technologies to discuss the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders in securing cyberspace.

f. Both sides recognise the need to harness the opportunities brought about by digital technologies. As such, both sides support the formation of mutually beneficial partnerships between the cities in the ASEAN Smart Cities Network and the EU and its member states, so as to leverage innovative technological solutions to improve the lives and livelihood of our people.

g. Both sides intend to work to defend the international openness of cyber space, particularly in preserving the multi-stakeholder Internet governance that respects the interests of all nations and of international civil society. In this context, both sides support efforts to pursue the diversification of the leadership bodies of Internet governance to achieve a better representation and diversity.

h. Given the prominence and role of technology in the lives of all citizens, both sides intend to deepen dialogue on the promotion of digital inclusion and digital literacy. Initiatives include exchanging best practices between France and Singapore on encouraging digital inclusion and inculcating digital literacy in all citizens, in order to prevent a growing digital divide as technology becomes more advanced.

5. France and Singapore commit to promoting the principles articulated in this Road Map among their respective regional partners in the EU and ASEAN, as well as the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) process, with the aim of spurring a growing number of their partners to recognise and commit to the principles of this Road Map.