MFA Press Statement: 10th Meeting of the Singapore-Australia Joint Ministerial Committee Singapore, 21 August 2017

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop, Minister for Defence Marise Payne and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo attended the 10th meeting of the Singapore-Australia Joint Ministerial Committee (SAJMC) in Singapore today. Singapore was represented at the SAJMC by Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade) Lim Hng Kiang and Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen.

The Ministers commemorated 20 years of the SAJMC, since its first meeting in October 1996. They reaffirmed the importance of the SAJMC given Singapore and Australia’s strategic alignment and economic complementarity. The Ministers noted that the SAJMC has played a pivotal role in developing the deep and multi-faceted cooperation that both countries enjoy today.

The Ministers welcomed progress on the bilateral initiatives in defence and security, trade and investment, science and innovation and people-to-people sectors established under the 2015 Singapore-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP). Ministers Ng and Payne signed a Pearce Treaty that will renew the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s training access in Royal Australian Air Force Base Pearce in Western Australia for 25 years and upgrade the existing MOU to treaty status. Ministers Lim and Ciobo signed a Tourism MOU that will enhance cooperation between both countries’ tourism agencies to create new economic opportunities and increase people-to-people flows. The full text of the Joint Communique adopted by Ministers at the 10th SAJMC is appended.

Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean hosted the Ministers to lunch, and discussed strategic and security developments in the region. DPM Teo and the Ministers also exchanged views on initiatives in the areas of research and innovation.

After lunch, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs Josephine Teo had a bilateral meeting with Minister Bishop. Ministers Teo and Bishop then co-chaired the Singapore-Australia High Level Women’s Dialogue (HLWD). The HLWD, a roundtable featuring Singaporean and Australian leaders from the corporate and community spheres, discussed the business imperative to elevate women’s representation on boards in both countries.

Later in the afternoon, the Australian SAJMC Ministers called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana and exchanged views on key regional and international trends. PM Lee and the Australian Ministers reaffirmed the excellent bilateral relations and wide-ranging cooperation. They agreed on the importance of further strengthening cooperation bilaterally and in multilateral forums. PM Lee expressed support for Australia’s hosting of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in March 2018 in Sydney, which he will co-chair with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore

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