Singapore and New Zealand enjoy a close, multifaceted and longstanding relationship. As countries that are small and open, we share many interests and strategic views, and cooperate closely both bilaterally and in multilateral forums.
Singapore and NZ upgraded bilateral relations to an Enhanced Partnership (EP) in May 2019. The EP was formally established through a Joint Declaration signed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during the latter’s official visit to Singapore in May 2019. We have developed 26 bilateral cooperation initiatives across the EP’s four pillars: (a) trade and economics; (b) security and defence; (c) science, technology, and innovation; and (d) people-to-people links.
The Agreement between New Zealand and Singapore on a Closer Economic Partnership (ANZSCEP), Singapore’s first bilateral FTA and New Zealand’s second, was signed in Singapore by then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong and then-New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark in November 2000 and came into effect on 1 January 2001. The ANZSCEP was upgraded as part of the EP and came into force on 1 January 2020. Both countries are also party to the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) which came into effect on 1 January 2010, as well as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which was signed on 8 March 2018.
Defence is also a key pillar of bilateral relations. In addition to being members of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA), Singapore’s and New Zealand’s armed forces conduct regular bilateral training. Singapore’s and New Zealand’s troops have partnered each other in missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. New Zealand also hosts the Singapore Armed Forces for unilateral military training in New Zealand, and both countries work well together at multilateral security fora.
We have cooperated closely with New Zealand amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, including in supply chain connectivity. Singapore and NZ are parties to bilateral and plurilateral statements that reaffirm our commitment to maintain trade flows for essential goods, including: (a) the Joint Ministerial Statement on Supply Chain Connectivity issued in March 2020; (b) the Declaration on Trade in Essential Goods for Combating the COVID-19 Pandemic announced in April 2020; and (c) the Joint Ministerial Statement on Action Plans to Faciliate the Flow of Goods and Services and the Essential Movement of People issued in May 2020. Singapore and NZ are also co-sponsors of the Joint Statement on Open Markets, Flow of Essential Goods and Supply Chain Connectivity issued by the UN in May 2020.