Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong hosted Prime Minister of Australia the Honourable Scott Morrison MP to breakfast, followed by a delegation meeting this morning. Both Prime Ministers also held a Joint Press Conference. Prime Minister Morrison is in Singapore for the annual leaders-level meeting established under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP).
The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed the excellent state of bilateral relations. They reviewed the steady progress made by Singapore and Australia since the signing of the CSP in 2015. Prime Minister Lee thanked Prime Minister Morrison for Australia’s longstanding and generous support for Singapore’s military training. The Prime Ministers agreed to work towards upgrading the MOU on Military Training and Training Area Development to a Treaty as soon as possible. Prime Minister Lee highlighted Singapore’s interest to conclude an Open Skies Agreement and review the Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement by 2022, as agreed under the CSP.
The two Prime Ministers also discussed new areas of bilateral cooperation. They agreed that there is great potential to collaborate further in the emerging area of digital economy, and tasked the Trade Ministers to lead these efforts and report on the progress by October 2019. The Prime Ministers also discussed strengthening cooperation in cybersecurity and food security. Prime Minister Lee welcomed Australia’s increase of Work Holiday Visa Programme spaces for Singaporeans from 500 to 2,500.
The two Prime Ministers also discussed regional and global developments. They reaffirmed their shared strategic perspectives on various issues, including the importance of an open, rules-based and inclusive multilateral system. Prime Minister Lee welcomed Australia’s continued engagement of the region and thanked Prime Minister Morrison for Australia’s firm support of ASEAN. The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to conclude the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) by the end of this year. They also reaffirmed the close working relationship between both countries on other multilateral fora such as the East Asia Summit, G20 and WTO.
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MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS