Insight – Green Economy Agreement to speed transition to sustainable agri-food systems

18 January 2023

On 18 October 2022, Australia and Singapore signed the Singapore-Australia Green Economy Agreement (GEA).

The GEA is a first-of-its-kind agreement that supports Australia’s economic, trade, investment and climate change objectives.

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems is one of the GEA’s 17 joint initiatives.

Under the GEA, Australia and Singapore will collaborate on ideas and initiatives that accelerate the transition to best practice sustainable agri-food systems. The aim is to:

  • support food security
  • limit the effects of climate change
  • reduce the impact of agri-food systems on the environment.

Implications for Australian exporters

The GEA provides a basis for ongoing dialogue on agricultural sustainability issues. In the long term, this will help create more opportunities for Australia’s sustainably produced agricultural exports by promoting trade and investment.

Australia and Singapore intend for the GEA to provide a model for cooperation with other partners in the ASEAN region. It will also be a model for free trade agreements more broadly.

Australia–Singapore trade relationship

In 2021–22, two-way trade between Singapore and Australia was worth A$3.5 billion. The trade balance is relatively even (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Two-way trade between Australia and Singapore, 2021–22

Figure 1 Two-way trade between Australia and Singapore, 2021–22

Singapore exports refined petroleum, processed food, computers, and pharmaceutical products to Australia. Australia exports natural gas, minerals, petroleum (crude and refined), and agricultural products to Singapore.

Due to limited agricultural land, Singapore imports most of its food. Australia is a reliable supplier of high-quality, safe agricultural products. These include wine, beef, sheep and pig meat, dairy products, and wheat (see Figure 2). Many of these products are processed in Singapore for domestic consumption or export. This creates economic benefits for both countries.

Figure 2: Australia’s market share for selected Singaporean agricultural imports, 2021

Figure 2 Australia’s market share for selected Singaporean agricultural imports, 2021

Resources

Read about the GEA’s Annex B 1.6 Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems.

The Australian Government’s network of Agriculture Counsellors provided information for this article. More information about the Agriculture Counsellor network, including contact details, is available on the DAFF website.

Austrade has more information on the Singapore market and doing business in Singapore.

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