Both houses of parliament, last week, passed through the updates to the Singapore Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), which will see a considerable reduction in the harsh current restrictions on Australian exporters.
The amendment to the SAFTA is a huge successful for Australia's services industries, which will now have greater access for our education, legal, financial and various professional service sectors.
Currently, Australia is Singapore's fifth largest trading partner, but with the recent amendment's, our position is expected to increase.These improved conditions for Australia "will deepen our trade and economic relationships" with Singapore.
The new rules contained within the agreement will now allow Singapore to be used as an export gateway to the rest of South East Asia. Similarly, Australian businesses tendering for Singaporean Government contracts will now be eligible for higher-value contracts in the road, construction and engineering sectors.
Originally signed in 2003, the SAFTA has grown our bilateral trade relationship by more than 80% with bilateral investment growing more than 350%, making it one of Australia's most successful agreements.