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New Singapore partnership to boost trade and tourism

New Singapore partnership to boost trade and tourism article image

A new Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with Singapore will help to grow scientific and innovation collaboration as well as building defence and trade links.

And a Memorandum of Understanding on tourism cooperation between the Australian Government and the Singapore Tourism Board will grow tourist numbers for both countries.

The new partnership, announced recently by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, will also help to strengthen education ties between the two nations.

Minister for Industry and Innovation, Christopher Pyne, said the partnership would cement efforts by both countries to work together to achieve common goals through research and development (R&D) cooperation.

Under the new partnership, Australia and Singapore would share R&D facilities and business to business research.

“This new partnership includes a strong focus on innovation, as well as the scientific projects that assist both countries, and will have important impacts by contributing to prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region,” Mr Pyne said.

Under the agreement there will be greater collaboration between agencies like CSIRO and A*STAR, Singapore’s leading research organization.

Minister for Tourism and International Education, Senator Richard Colbeck said a reciprocal Work and Holiday visa program, with up to 500 visa places per year, would support young people from Australia and Singapore to undertake short term work and study.

Strong tourism relationship

Agreement has also been reached on a tailored multi-year visa arrangement to facilitate travel and entry of Singapore nationals who are pre-vetted by the Singapore government.

“Australia values its strong tourism relationship with Singapore,” said Senator Colbeck.

Last year Singaporean visitors spent $1.4 billion while visiting Australia and this is expected to increase to $2.8 billion annually by the end of the decade.

Senator Colbeck said Singapore Airlines and Tourism Australia will work together to capitalise on tourism growth from India and China and other key international tourism markets, including Malaysia, UK, Germany, Japan and Korea.

Singapore and Australia will also promote further cooperation on education, including that arrangements be developed to allow Australian providers to now use the name 'University' for their Singaporean campuses. Singapore has also agreed to recognise Juris Doctor, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy degrees from agreed universities.

A process for the mutual recognition of other professional qualifications will also begin with engineering and accounting as priorities.

More than 700 Australian students will study and undertake internships in Singapore in the first three years of the New Colombo Plan (2014-16).

Pilot program

Singapore and Australia have agreed a pilot internship program, which aims to give 100 Singaporeans studying in Australia more internship opportunities with leading Australian companies.

There will also be improved arrangements for recognition of Australian tertiary qualifications in Singapore.

The agreement also provides opportunities for Singaporean students to gain work experience in Australia.

“Australia will be seeking to include similar agreements in other trade arrangements to enhance our opportunities to grow international education,” said Senator Colbeck.

More information on the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership can be found at www.pm.gov.au.

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