Vivian Balakrishnan meets Australian PM Turnbull and Foreign Minister Bishop

Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan meets with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (left) and Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop on March 3, 2016.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan meets with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (left) and Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop on March 3, 2016. PHOTO: SINGAPORE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

SINGAPORE - Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on Thursday (March 3) held meetings with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, his counterpart Julie Bishop and other Australian officials, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement.

Dr Balakrishnan is on a two-day introductory visit to Australia which began Thursday.

During the meeting with Ms Bishop, the two ministers expressed satisfaction with the implementation of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP), which the two countries signed in June last year, the MFA said. The CSP seeks to boost cooperation across multiple fields, including in economics and trade, defence and security, foreign affairs and arts and culture.

"They also noted the good progress in ongoing discussions on concluding enhanced defence cooperation agreements and the review of the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA)," the MFA said.

In addition, the two sides agreed to further cooperation in innovation, research and development and smart cities.

Dr Balakrishnan and Ms Bishop also took the opportunity to exchange views on regional developments, the MFA said.

During his meetings, Dr Balakrishnan also met with other Australian ministers and officials. They included Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Christopher Pyne, Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt, Cabinet Secretary Arthur Sinodinos, Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor and Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Tanya Plibersek.