Singapore and Australia are natural partners because of their complementary economies and shared strategic perspectives. The Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement, which helped deepen bilateral economic ties, entered into force in July 2003. The two countries are also part of the Asean-Australia-New Zealand FTA and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, signed in 2015, solidified cooperation in several areas, including economics, trade and investment; foreign affairs, defence and security; people-to-people relations; and science and innovation. In 2016, new bilateral initiatives upgraded cooperation in the key four areas.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's visit to Singapore last week provided an opportunity for stocktaking and looking ahead. It was announced that the two countries are exploring new areas of collaboration such as cyber security, food security and the digital economy. There is scope for deeper cooperation, particularly in newer areas such as e-invoicing, digital identities, e-payments and artificial intelligence.