Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have marked the first anniversary of the New
Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership with a virtual Leaders’ Meeting today.
The Enhanced Partnership, signed on 17 May 2019, provides the framework for cooperation across the four main areas of
trade, defence and security, science and technology, and people-to-people ties.
The two leaders discussed the range of initiatives achieved since the signing of the agreement, including ratifying the
New Zealand-Singapore Closer Economic Partnership (ANZSCEP) upgrade, and concluding a ground-breaking Digital Economy
Partnership Agreement (DEPA), alongside Chile. Both Leaders acknowledged the close cooperation and success on a number
of initiatives to enhance mutual prosperity.
“Our complementary economies and open outlook have helped us build a strong bilateral relationship over the years, which
underpins the numerous agreements between us,” said Prime Minister Ardern.
“The COVID-19 pandemic in particular has highlighted both the importance and relevance of our long and enduring
“New Zealand and Singapore have worked tirelessly over the past few months to ensure critical supplies continue to reach
our people and that our trade links remain open. Through the world-leading Declaration on Trade in Essential Goods for
Combating the COVID-19 Pandemic, (signed on 15 April 2020), we took concrete steps together to remove obstacles
affecting the trade of vital goods, such as medicines and food, in the face of COVID-19.”
The Prime Ministers agreed to continue implementation of the Enhanced Partnership, with a focus on priority initiatives
that are meaningful and valued by both countries in the context of COVID-19.
“We will continue to strive to protect an open and inclusive rules-based order, and seek opportunities to work
collectively for the common peace, stability and prosperity of our countries, and the Asia-Pacific region,” Prime
Minister Ardern said.
Singapore became New Zealand’s second free trade partner – after Australia – following the signing of the Closer
Economic Partnership in 2000. Singapore is now New Zealand’s most significant trading partner in South East Asia - and
our 7th largest trading partner worldwide - with NZ$5.76 billion worth of two-way trade in 2019. Singapore also serves
as an important transport hub for New Zealand’s goods heading to markets across the globe. Many New Zealand businesses
operating in South-East and East Asia use Singapore as a regional base.
Singapore holds NZ$4.75 billion in foreign direct investment in New Zealand, making it New Zealand’s 5th largest foreign
investor, with large investments in New Zealand’s hospitality industry.
A Joint Statement by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong marking the anniversary is