Singapore and Australia reaffirm longstanding ties, to boost bilateral cooperation


SINGAPORE: The prime ministers of Singapore and Australia have reaffirmed the “longstanding and excellent” ties between the two countries, during the second Singapore-Australia Leaders’ Summit on Friday (Jun 2). 

The bilateral relationship is “underpinned by similar perspectives and strategic trust”, said Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in a statement. 

It added that visiting Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reiterated both countries’ commitment to deepen and expand bilateral collaboration, including in trade, defence, innovation, and arts and culture.

They also exchanged views on regional developments and agreed on the importance of an open and inclusive regional architecture, and the benefits of free and open trade.

Mr Turnbull is on a three-day visit to Singapore where he will also attend the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual gathering of defence ministers from the Asia-Pacific region to discuss global and regional security issues.

Earlier on Friday, the Australian Prime Minister received an official welcome at the Istana. He also called on President Tony Tan Keng Yam and was hosted to an official lunch by Mr Lee.

Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull and Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the Istana on Friday (Jun 2). (Photo: Dr Tan’s Facebook page)


Mr Turnbull announced that from next year, Singaporeans travelling to Australia can apply for a new visa which allows them to enter the country for up to three months at a time, over a six-year period.

This will further boost tourism and business links between Australia and Singapore, he said.

Mr Turnbull and Mr Lee also witnessed the signing of two Memorandums of Understanding – one to strengthen cybersecurity cooperation, and the other to further collaboration in data science and advanced manufacturing. 

At the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Mr Turnbull had an orchid named after him and his wife Lucy. 

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. 

Mr Turnbull will be delivering the keynote address at the 16th International Institute for Strategic Students (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue on Friday evening, and will jointly open the Torres Strait Islander Erub Arts Exhibition at the Asian Civilisations Museum with Mr Lee on Saturday. 

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