The Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) entered into force on the 28th July 2003 with subsequent amendments entering into force on 24 February 2006, 13 February 2007, 11 October 2007 and 2 September 2011.
An agreement to amend the SAFTA was signed by the Hon Steven Ciobo MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism, and Investment and his Singaporean counterpart Mr Lim Hng Kiang Minister for Trade and Investment on October the 13th in Canberra.
These amendments will enter into force only once both countries have completed their domestic treaty process.
Key Interests and Benefits for these amendments are as follows:
- Elimination of all tariffs from entry into force.
- Restrictions on the number of wholesale banking licenses to be eased over time and more certain, and enhanced operating environment for financial services suppliers.
- Conditions eased on establishment of joint ventures involving Australian law firms and number of Australian law degrees recognised in Singapore doubled from four to eight.
- Removal/easing of residency requirements for Australian professionals and short-term entry for Australian business people extended from one month to three months.
- Agreement to facilitate paperless trading in order to reduce business transaction costs.
Want to know more about the SAFTA? Head to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.