The Enhanced Partnership will significantly lift our cooperation with Singapore in the areas of trade and economic; security and defence; science, technology and innovation; and people-to-people.

Trade and economic

Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) Upgrade

The upgrade of our free trade agreement, the Closer Economic Partnership (CEP), will allow New Zealand companies to capitalise on business opportunities in Singapore.

Signed in 2001 by then Prime Minister Helen Clark, the CEP was New Zealand’s second free trade agreement, and is Singapore’s first.

New commitments

New commitments secured in the CEP Upgrade include:

  • Improved access for New Zealanders visiting or working in Singapore through an extension to visa-free entry, up from one month to three months, and an extension to the potential length of stay for intra-corporate transferees from five to eight years
  • Modernised rules covering trade in goods (including customs procedures and trade facilitation, and rules of origin), making it easier for New Zealand businesses to export
  • Modern frameworks to address non-tariff barriers and enable regulatory cooperation, allowing officials to further promote trade and reduce barriers
  • Updated competition and consumer protection rules
  • Targeted improvements to investment provisions
  • New rules covering e-commerce

Find out more about the Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) Upgrade.

Partnership for Growth Arrangement

A Partnership for Growth Arrangement between New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and its Singapore equivalent, Enterprise Singapore, will promote strategic alliances between Singaporean and New Zealand companies.

This arrangement will help New Zealand businesses expand their operations in Singapore, by providing market knowledge and support to build networks.

New Zealand and Singapore will organise two-way business missions and events, including seminars and workshops, to provide practical support to Singaporean and New Zealand businesses.

Security and defence

Collaborating with Singapore on shared security challenges and threats will boost our security. It will also strengthen the long-standing, close defence relationship we share.

Cyber security

A new Cyber Security Arrangement will support greater exchange of information between New Zealand and Singapore on cyber threats, including through an annual cyber security dialogue.

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet will also lead an annual security dialogue with its Singapore counterpart, initially focusing on counter-terrorism. 

Easier access through borders

New Zealand and Singaporean citizens are now able to use e-Gate/Frequent Traveller Programme facilities when arriving and departing from each other’s airports, enabling easier access through borders for travellers.

Defence cooperation

New Zealand and Singapore’s defence agencies have established an annual Defence Ministers meeting and regular dialogues between our services. They will also explore opportunities for further skills development and reciprocal secondments through the following agreements:

  • Technical aspects of safety and security - Agreement between New Zealand’s Institute for Environmental, Science and Research Limited and Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • Cooperation in Homeland Security Technology - Agreement between the Defence Technology Agency and Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs

Science, technology and innovation 

A new and comprehensive Science, Technology and Innovation Arrangement with Singapore will link both countries’ science and innovation systems, to coordinate and promote long-term science cooperation and commercialisation opportunities. It will also allow for ongoing development of new initiatives.

Data science and future foods

A joint work programme is being negotiated under the Arrangement, starting with two flagship collaborations:

  • An advanced data science research platform to build New Zealand’s data science capability and capacity.
  • A food and nutrition cooperative science programme with a focus on ‘future foods’, i.e. plant-based foods that meet demand for healthy, affordable and environmentally-sustainable diets.
    Photo credit: Matt Crawford

Work is ongoing to progress future health cooperation, particularly health security, and medicines and medical device regulation; environmental cooperation, notably in promoting healthy freshwater ecosystems, water sensitive urban design and smart water technologies; and climate change.


The Enhanced Partnership aims to extend New Zealand’s influence in Singapore by boosting familiarity with New Zealand among the next generation of Singaporeans, and vice versa.

Working Holiday Scheme  

A refreshed Working Holiday Scheme will provide better conditions for young New Zealanders and Singaporeans to experience each other’s countries for up to 12 months.

Education Cooperation Arrangement

A bilateral Education Cooperation Arrangement will drive greater collaboration between our education systems and should, over the long-term, support greater student and teacher exchanges.

Arts and culture initiatives

Arrangements and cooperation between New Zealand and Singapore include:

  • A new Arrangement between Creative New Zealand and National Arts Council Singapore that will support a visiting artists/producers/presenters exchange programme. 
  • A refreshed Arrangement between the National Library of New Zealand and Singapore’s National Library Board that focuses on national services, including digital preservation of records. 
  • Cooperation between Te Papa’s innovation hub, Mahuki, and the National Museum of Singapore that focuses on capability building, exhibition and loan exchanges, and technology and digital collaboration.
  • New Zealand and Singapore Film Commissions working more closely together to provide internship opportunities, increase official co-production activity, and support industry cooperation

Civil service initiatives

Greater exchanges between our civil services include Singapore providing an annual postgraduate scholarship for a senior New Zealand official to study in Singapore, biennial participation in Singapore’s diplomatic academy, and enhanced consular cooperation.