Case study: Conclusion of the Singapore Enhanced Partnership

This year saw the successful conclusion to negotiations on the Singapore Enhanced Partnership.

This once-in-a-generation agreement with Singapore will substantially lift our relationship and provide tangible benefits to New Zealanders now and in the future.

Singapore is similar to New Zealand in that we are both island nations with advanced economies and relatively small populations. We share a historic defence relationship and Singapore’s economic success has long presented New Zealanders with opportunity – our 2001 Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) with Singapore was New Zealand’s second ever FTA.

Our ambition is for a relationship beyond our strong trade ties and shared history. Over the last three years the Ministry worked with over 20 other New Zealand agencies to negotiate the New Zealand – Singapore Enhanced Partnership. The Enhanced Partnership includes a range of initiatives under four pillars: people-to-people, defence and security, trade and economic, and science, technology and innovation.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visited Singapore in May 2019 to launch the Enhanced Partnership alongside Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, highlighting the importance that New Zealand places on the agreement and the relationship.

In addition to upgrading the CEP, the Enhanced Partnership focuses on linking the countries’ science and innovation sectors and on connections between New Zealanders and Singaporeans.

By strengthening people-to-people links, we will create a group of advocates that are familiar with each other’s countries. Key outcomes under this pillar include a range of arts and culture initiatives, reciprocal visa-free 90-day stays, mutual use of passport control eGates and a refreshed reciprocal Working Holiday Scheme. Approximately 4,000 Kiwis already live and work in Singapore.

A Science and Innovation Arrangement, with a focus on joint data science and future food research initiatives, is supported by $57 million in funding. This will coordinate and promote long-term science cooperation and commercialisation opportunities.

New Zealand and Singapore will strengthen cooperation on defence and security, with a focus on cyber-security.

We anticipate that the Enhanced Partnership will evolve as we implement the initiatives.

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Deputy Secretary Trade and Economic Group Vangelis Vitalis discusses trade policy at a ‘Trade for All’ consultation meeting in Auckland. Credit: Michael Morris


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