Singapore and Australia leaders meet to discuss new Green Economy Agreement

Under the agreement, both countries hope to facilitate trade and investment by lowering the regulatory burden on businesses.
Under the agreement, both countries hope to facilitate trade and investment by lowering the regulatory burden on businesses.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - Leaders from Singapore and Australia have met to discuss the new Green Economy Agreement (GEA) that aims to facilitate green growth through practical measures, said both countries in a joint statement on Monday (Oct 11).

Singapore was represented by Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong, while Australia was represented by Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan.

Under the agreement, both countries hope to facilitate trade and investment by lowering the regulatory burden on businesses. They also aim to remove non-tariff barriers to trade in environmental goods and services, and accelerate the uptake of low emissions green technology.

In a joint vision statement, issued after Monday's meeting, the countries said this "world-first agreement" will deepen their bilateral partnership through strengthened economic and environmental relations.

"Our vision is to enhance the livelihood of our communities whilst transitioning to greener economies and addressing the challenges of climate change," they said.

The broader goal is for this agreement to serve as a pathfinder that contributes to multilateral and regional policy development by "establishing policies, standards and initiatives that will not only create good jobs in green growth sectors, but also strengthen environmental governance and global capacity to address environmental issues", they added.

Monday's meeting follows discussions between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Australian counterpart, Mr Scott Morrison, during the sixth Australia-Singapore Annual Leaders' Meeting in June.

Singapore is currently working with Australia on a solar power project that aims to provide green energy to Singapore via a 4,200km undersea cable from Darwin in Australia.

Formal negotiations on the GEA began on Sept 22.

"The GEA will benefit workers and businesses of all sizes in both countries, and contribute towards shaping regional and multilateral policies on trade and environmental sustainability," Mr Gan said.

Added Mr Tehan: "Australia and Singapore are working together to reduce emissions in both countries by lowering the cost and accelerating the uptake of green technology."