Singapore-Australia relations are strong and built on deep, substantive cooperation along multiple fronts including defence, trade and investments and education. Both countries cooperate closely in regional and international forums such as the East Asia Summit (EAS) and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
Singapore and Australia share a close and longstanding defence relationship that is founded on substantive interactions and common perspectives on many issues. Apart from frequent bilateral interactions, both armed forces cooperate closely in multilateral forums such as the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). Australia is supportive of our training needs and is an important location for unilateral training by the RSAF and the Army. The Shoalwater Bay Training Area Agreement, which was initially signed in August 2005 between the SAF and the Australian Defence Force (ADF), was recently renewed for the next ten years in January 2010. The new Oakey Agreement which allows the RSAF to train in Oakey until 2027 was signed by Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen and his counterpart Stephen Smith in June 2012. The SAF has been working with the Australian Defence Force in Australia's Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) efforts in Afghanistan since November 2008.
Australia is a key economic partner of Singapore. Economic relations were boosted following the entry into force of the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) on 28 July 2003. On the ASEAN front, the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) came into effect on 1 January 2010. The AANZFTA is a high-standard agreement that sets a quality benchmark for ASEAN's future FTAs and involvement in the wider regional architecture.
On the bilateral front, the biennial Singapore-Australia Joint Ministerial Committee (SAJMC) has been the important mechanism to foster dialogue between both countries as it presents a platform to share perspectives on issues of common interest and to advance bilateral relations. The SAJMC was established pursuant to the “New Partnership” jointly declared by then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong and then-Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating in 1996. The 7th SAJMC was held in September 2012 in Canberra.
Singapore enjoys warm people-to-people relations with Australia. Cooperation on the cultural front include the performing, visual and literary arts as well as heritage projects and library exchanges. Bilateral exchanges in the media sector have also been very productive. Key media industry collaborations are in the areas of Australian media investments in Singapore film and TV co-productions, and animation.