Ties with Singapore strengthened by amendments

21 June, 2017

Recent updates to the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement could mean significant opportunities for WA businesses.

The SAFTA took effect on July 28, 2003 and has been amended several times since then.

According to Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Steven Ciobo, the most recent updates are aimed at giving Australian businesses a competitive edge in Singapore.

“It will provide new access for Australian service providers, particularly in education and professional services. Additional qualifications in law, medicine and allied health from a number of Australian universities will now be recognised in Singapore,” he says.

“Australian lawyers and financial service providers will enjoy improved access to Singapore’s legal and financial services markets.”

Ciobo says it will also create new opportunities for businesses to bid for high-value government procurement contracts in Singapore, including in sectors such as road transport, construction and engineering.

“The updated agreement will improve mobility and lengths of stay for Australian business people and their spouses and dependents,” he says.

“It will include modern outcomes on telecommunications services and e-commerce, and harmonise trade rules in goods, services and investment, thereby reducing red tape for businesses.”

While Australian businesses will get a better shot at Singaporean tenders, so will Singaporean businesses for WA government contracts, subject to some exclusions by either government.

The original SAFTA provided a strong platform for the expansion of Australia’s economic and trade relationship with Singapore – a 21st-century regional economy and a gateway to the rest of Asia.

SAFTA has seen Australia’s goods exports to Singapore grow to $5.5 billion in 2015-16, and services exports to $4.3 billion – our fourth-largest export market for services.

►Find out how you can use Australia’s Free Trade Agreements to grow your business – contact CCI’s  International Trade and Investment Centre Team today on (08) 9365 7620.