Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New Zealand-Singapore upgraded economic agreement ratified

New Zealand-Singapore upgraded economic agreement ratified

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern and Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong at the signing of the Singapore-New Zealand Enhanced Partnership. THE STRAITS TIMES

New Zealand-Singapore upgraded economic agreement ratified

The upgraded Agreement between New Zealand and Singapore on a Closer Economic Partnership (ANZSCEP) has been ratified by the two nations and will enter into force on Jan 1, 2020.

The upgraded agreement adds e-commerce and regulatory cooperation chapters to the ANZSCEP, Singapore’s first and New Zealand’s second bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that became effective Jan 1, 2001, the Ministry for Trade and Industry said on Monday (Dec 30).

The agreement will address modern trade issues and improve trade rules and provisions that are in line with newer FTAs that Singapore and New Zealand have entered into.

Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said: “The swift ratification and entry-into-force of the upgraded ANZSCEP signals Singapore and New Zealand’s commitment to upholding an open and rules-based trading system.”

Negotiations for the upgraded ANZSCEP were launched in June 2017 under the trade and economic pillar of the Singapore-New Zealand Enhanced Partnership. The upgraded ANZSCEP was signed on May 17, 2019 during New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s first official visit to Singapore.

The upgraded ANZSCEP incorporates some of the most flexible and trade-facilitative rules of origin among Singapore’s FTAs and the shortest release times for goods and expedited shipments.

“This modernised agreement will further reduce barriers to trade and enhance regulatory cooperation and e-commerce efforts, benefiting businesses from both our countries. I look forward to the deepening of economic relations between our countries,” Mr Chan said.

Singapore and New Zealand were part of the proposed 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which gave way to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership after US President Donald Trump withdrew from the TPP. They are also part of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which is under negotiation.

All tariffs for Singapore’s exports to New Zealand were eliminated under ANZSCEP, which came into force in 2001. It also provided for tariff preference based on the exporter’s declaration, safeguards for market access and protection for Singapore investors and investments in New Zealand. The FTA ensured a more predictable operating environment for service suppliers.

Singapore and New Zealand share strong trade and investment ties, the MTI statement said. In 2018, bilateral trade registered a 12.1 per cent year-on-year increase to S$4.1 billion. Singapore was New Zealand’s sixth largest investor with approximately S$3.9 billion worth of investments as of end-2017, figures from New Zealand’s official data agency Stats NZ showed.

New Zealand was among the first countries to recognise Singapore’s independence. In 2015, then President Tony Tan Keng Yam made a state visit to New Zealand to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

Besides their strong economic ties, Singapore and New Zealand also cooperate closely on defence through platforms such as the Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus and the Five Power Defence Arrangements.

Since 1997, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has been conducting artillery training at the Waiouru Training Area in New Zealand.

THE STRAITS TIMES (Singapore)/Asia News Networks


  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Angkor photo rules clarified

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) denied that it had banned the use of camera tripods in the Angkor Archaeological Park, explaining that the confusion stemmed from a long-standing rule which required commercial photographers and videographers to apply for permission to film. The explanation followed a

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At