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New Zealand – Singapore Enhanced Partnership strengthens ties

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had launched an even closer relationship between Singapore and New Zealand.

According to a recent press release, this agreement will see trade, defence, cybersecurity, education, and arts and culture ties strengthened.

Not only that, but this will also create an improved working holiday scheme for young New Zealanders.

The Enhanced Partnership

The New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership, signed in Singapore on 17 May 2019 by both New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern and Singapore Prime Minister Lee, will bring benefits for the citizens of both countries.

Moreover, this will bring a substantive lift to the relationship.

The Enhanced Partnership between the two countries includes key features. These are:

  1. An upgrade of the Free Trade Agreement, which smooths the way for New Zealand companies to capitalise on opportunities in Singapore
  2. A new Science, Technology and Innovation Arrangement funding for joint research totalling NZ$57 million
  3. Enhanced defence cooperation and a new Cyber Security Arrangement
  4. An improved Working Holiday Scheme
  5. A suite of Arts and Culture agreements

New Zealand’s Prime Minister highlighted that the key plank of the Government’s economic plan is to make it easier for New Zealand businesses to export. The Enhanced Partnership with Singapore delivers on that objective.

Improved business relations

Furthermore, the Enhanced Partnership makes it easier to do business with Singapore directly. This is good news as Singapore also acts as the gateway for New Zealand’s goods and services to access the growing Asian market.

Singapore is the country’s closest and most significant partner in Southeast Asia and seventh largest trading partner globally.

This agreement extends the breadth of the existing relationship and strengthens the ties between the people.

Boosting collaborations

Additionally, the Enhanced Partnership will lead to new research collaboration, greater defence cooperation, which includes working together on the increasingly important area of cybersecurity.

As reported, 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.

In addition, a joint work programme is being negotiated under the Arrangement, which includes an advanced data science research platform to build New Zealand’s data science capability and capacity.

Natural partners

The countries’ common interests as small advanced economies mean that Singapore is a valuable and natural partner for New Zealand.

Singapore also shares the country’s ambition to protect and advance an open and inclusive international rules-based order.

This announcement marks a significant step up in the relationship and will result in a deeper and more modern partnership, boosting New Zealand’s prosperity to the benefit of all New Zealanders.

New agreements covering arts and culture, education, public service exchanges and an improved working holiday scheme will mean that ties between the people will be strengthened too.

It provides a foundation from which the cooperation can be deepened even further in the future.

The press release shared significant highlights on the relationship between Singapore and New Zealand. These are:

  1. Trade growth of 9% (2017-2018)
  2. Total trade of NZ$ 5.2 billion worth of goods and services in 2018.
  3. 5th largest foreign investor, NZ$4.32b
  4. 8th largest source of tourists, with 61,000 visitors a year
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