8th Singapore-Australia Leaders’ Retreat - Jun 2023
Acting Prime Minister Lawrence Wong and Prime Minister Albanese held the 8th Singapore-Australia Annual Leaders' Meeting. Following the Meeting, Acting PM Wong hosted an Official Lunch for PM Albanese and his delegation.
During the Annual Leaders’ Meeting, the Leaders noted the good progress across all six pillars of the Singapore-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP). Acting PM Wong expressed appreciation for Australia’s strong and long-standing support for Singapore’s military training in Australia. The Leaders were pleased to note that this year marked the 20th anniversary of the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement, which underpins the two countries’ strong economic ties.
The Leaders welcomed the deepening of bilateral cooperation in new areas such as the green economy and supply chain resilience. They announced the launch of a few initiatives under the Singapore-Australia Green Economy Agreement signed at the last Annual Leaders’ Meeting in October 2022, namely a Go-Green Co-Innovation Programme to provide grants to Singapore and Australia SMEs to jointly develop green products and services, the establishment of a Green and Digital Shipping Corridor by end-2025 and funding towards the Convergence Asia Climate Solutions Design Grant. On supply chain resilience, both sides finalised the guiding principles and workplan for a bilateral Food Pact to promote greater import and transshipment of food produce from Australia to and through Singapore. Acting PM Wong thanked PM Albanese for his assurances that Australia is committed to remaining a reliable supplier of energy to Singapore, including gas.
Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the CSP in 2025, both Leaders agreed to explore ambitious, forward-looking, and strategic areas of cooperation for the next phase of the CSP.
The Leaders also exchanged views on key regional and international geopolitical developments. They agreed on the importance of an open and inclusive rules-based multilateral order, and underlined the importance of ASEAN Centrality and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific in engaging all Dialogue Partners. Acting PM Wong welcomed PM Albanese’s commitment to deepen Australia’s engagement of Southeast Asia.
([1-2] MCI Photos by Lim Sin Thai, [3-5] MCI Photos by Betty Chua)