Singapore, Australia ministers meet in Sydney

Singapore and Australia's ministers at Sydney Harbour on March 18, 2016.
Singapore and Australia's ministers at Sydney Harbour on March 18, 2016.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ VIVIAN BALAKRISHNAN
Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and his Australian counterpart, Ms Julie Bishop.
Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and his Australian counterpart, Ms Julie Bishop.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ VIVIAN BALAKRISHNAN

Ministers of Singapore and Australia are meeting in Sydney today to review the progress of a strategic partnership, nearly nine months after the pact was inked.

The partnership could see new levels of cooperation in defence, the economy, foreign affairs, and arts and culture.

Other areas for possible discussion at the ninth meeting of the Singapore-Australia Joint Ministerial Committee: increasing Singapore's access to military training areas in Australia and new initiatives in innovation and research and development.

 
 

Under the 10-year road map of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership signed by then Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last June, there will be better access and integration of the two countries' financial and capital markets.

A new defence agreement and a review of the Singapore-Australia trade agreement are also set to be concluded by July.

The partnership could see new levels of cooperation in defence, the economy, foreign affairs, and arts and culture.

Other areas for possible discussion at the ninth meeting of the Singapore-Australia Joint Ministerial Committee: increasing Singapore's access to military training areas in Australia and new initiatives in innovation and research and development.

Today's biennial meeting will be co-chaired by Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and his Australian counterpart, Ms Julie Bishop. Also present will be Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang and Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.

Australia will be represented by Defence Minister Marise Payne, Minister for Trade and Investment Steven Ciobo and Special Envoy for Trade Andrew Robb.

The one-day visit will also provide an opportunity to build on the "positive momentum from Minister Balakrishnan's introductory visit to Australia from March 3 to 4", the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement yesterday.

During that visit, Dr Balakrishnan met Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and other Australian officials. Both sides have agreed to cooperate further in innovation, research and development and smart cities.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2016, with the headline 'Singapore, Australia ministers meet in Sydney'. Print Edition | Subscribe