Singapore is one of the world’s most prosperous countries and Australia’s largest trade and investment partner in Southeast Asia.
The Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) came into effect in July 2003 and is a comprehensive agreement. It gives Australia outcomes that go deeper and further than the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in relation to trade in services, intellectual property, investment and competition policy.
On 13 October 2016, in Canberra, the Hon Steven Ciobo MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism, and Investment and his Singaporean counterpart Mr Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Investment, signed the Agreement to Amend SAFTA. It formalises the trade outcomes announced on 6 May 2016 by Prime Minister Turnbull and his Singaporean counterpart Prime Minister Lee. This was done under the auspices of the Australia-Singapore Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP).
With Singapore a free port, the main focus of SAFTA is in guaranteeing liberal access conditions for many Australian service suppliers. For example, legal, financial and educational services exporters.
SAFTA provides a more open and predictable business environment across a range of areas. This includes:
Before entering the Singapore business market there are a number of factors to take into account. This includes culture, politics and business etiquette.
Austrade can help Australian companies familiarise themselves with local market conditions, as well as assist in developing export opportunities through a range of in-market and Australian-based services.
To learn more about visas, tax requirements, priority business and product sectors visit Doing business in Singapore.