Singapore, Australia ink four key agreements

Joint Press Conference between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia on Oct 13, 2016.
Joint Press Conference between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia on Oct 13, 2016. PHOTO: MCI

Singapore and Australia signed four key agreements yesterday that will boost cooperation in trade, defence, innovation and combating transnational drug crime.

They include an upgraded free trade agreement (FTA) that will make it easier for Singaporean professionals and entrepreneurs to work in Australia and vice versa.

There is also a A$2.25 billion (S$2.35 billion) defence deal that will see both sides jointly develop military training facilities in Australia. The upgraded FTA comes into force next year, and defence cooperation planning starts early next year.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull said in a joint statement that the agreements represent the "most substantial upgrade in the Australia-Singapore relationship in a generation".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 14, 2016, with the headline 'Singapore, Australia ink four key agreements'. Print Edition | Subscribe