Singapore and Australia share longstanding and multifaceted relations. Australia was among the first countries to recognise our independence. We celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2015. Both countries also work closely in multilateral forums and enjoy warm people-to-people relations.
Singapore and Australia enjoy close defence ties, founded on substantive interactions and common perspectives on many issues. The Singapore Armed Forces trains in Australia, both unilaterally and bilaterally with the Australian Defence Force. Singapore and Australia also cooperate closely in multilateral forums such as the Five Power Defence Arrangements and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus.
Australia is also an important economic partner for Singapore. The Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement, which helped boost bilateral economic ties, was signed on 17 February 2003 and entered into force on 28 July 2003. Singapore and Australia are also part of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Our close relationship was elevated through the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) signed in June 2015. The CSP provides a framework to deepen engagement in various areas including four key pillars: economics, defence, innovation, and people-to-people ties. In May 2016, Australia and Singapore announced a transformational package of new bilateral initiatives that upgraded cooperation across all four pillars and gave effect to the CSP. The key agreements of the package were signed during Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s visit to Australia in October 2016 for the inaugural Leaders’ Summit under the CSP.
- Australian Member of Parliament and Shadow Minister for Employment Services, Workforce Participation and Future of Work and concurrently Shadow Minister for the Digital Economy The Honourable Ed Husic visited Singapore as the 59th Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellow from 6 to 11 November. Established in 1991, the LKYEF invites outstanding individuals for high-level visits to Singapore.
- Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan visited Perth, Australia from 4 to 5 November to attend the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference (APRC). The APRC was organised by the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce for political and business leaders from Australia, Germany and Asia-Pacific countries to explore opportunities to enhance trade and investment flows.
- Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean visited Melbourne and Canberra from 8 to 12 September.
- Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop, Minister for Defence Marise Payne, and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo visited Singapore on 21 August for the 10th meeting of the Singapore-Australia Joint Ministerial Committee (SAJMC) in Singapore on 21 August.
- Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull made his first official visit to Singapore from 2 to 3 June for the 2nd Singapore-Australia Leaders’ Summit under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. He also delivered the Keynote Address at the 16th International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-La Dialogue on 2 June.
- Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop visited Singapore from 13 to 14 March.
- Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made an official visit to Australia from 11 to 13 October for the inaugural Leaders’ Summit with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
- Australian Attorney-General George Brandis visited Singapore from 29 September to 2 October.
- Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister (Trade and Industry - Trade) Lim Hng Kiang and Minister (Defence) Dr Ng Eng Hen visited Australia from 17 to 18 March for the 9th Singapore-Australia Joint Ministerial Committee Meeting.
- Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishan made an introductory visit to Australia from 3 to 4 March.
- Australian Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb visited Singapore from 25 to 26 January.
- Minister (Defence) Dr Ng Eng Hen visited Australia from 19 to 21 November in conjunction with the Singapore Armed Force’s Exercise Wallaby.
- Australian Governor-General Peter Cosgrove made a State Visit to Singapore from 21 to 24 September to commemorate the 50th anniversary of relations.
- Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott made an official visit to Singapore from 28 to 29 June. During the visit, both Prime Ministers signed a Joint Declaration on a CSP.
- Australian Defence Minister Kevin Andrews visited Singapore from 28 to 31 May for the 14th Shangri La Dialogue.
- Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop visited Singapore on 20 May.
- Australian Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Foreign Minister Tanya Plibersek visited Singapore from 3 to 6 May.
- Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited Singapore in March for the State Funeral Service for Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
Last updated: December 2017