Australia, Singapore sign deals under partnership pact

Includes updated trade deal set to benefit professionals from various fields, defense deal for expanded military training 

Australia, Singapore sign deals under partnership pact

World Bulletin / News Desk

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong have signed four agreements -- including updated trade and defense deals -- under their countries’ Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

The trade deal signed Thursday updates a free trade agreement (FTA) inked more than a decade ago, and is due to make it easier for Australian professionals -- such as those certified in law, allied health and finance -- to work in Singapore.

Trade Miniser Steve Ciobo told the Australian Associated Press that the deal would “open doors for Australian service providers looking to expand offshore”.

“Singapore is giving Australia its best FTA treatment, putting our exporters on an equal or better footing than our foreign competitors,” he stressed.

Another deal is aimed at enhancing defense cooperation between the countries, including through a program under which Singapore will have more access to military training areas in Australia for 25 years.

When in effect, Singapore could spend around A$2.25 billion ($1.69 billion) expanding military bases in northeast Queensland state, and increase the number of its troops on rotation in Australia from 6,000 to 14,000.

Singapore troops will also be able to stay up to 18 weeks, as opposed to the current six weeks.

Last Mod: 13 Ekim 2016, 10:15
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