Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop (Source:Internet)
Sydney (VNA) - The ninth Singapore-Australia Joint Ministerial Committee meeting was held in Sydney on March 18.

The meeting’s participants included Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop, Minister for Defence Marise Payne, and Minister for Trade and Investment Steven Ciobo, of Australia , and Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang, and Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen, of Singapore .

A statement from the Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed Australia ’s comprehensive strategic partnership with Singapore was based on shared interests and complementary economies.

The two countries also have well-established links in education through initiatives including the New Colombo Plan, and strong people-to-people ties.

During the discussions, the ministers reviewed the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement to ensure it continues to deliver meaningful outcomes for business and head towards an even closer economic relationship, said the statement.

They also considered opportunities to expand defence cooperation, including through enhanced personnel exchanges and training, as well as strengthening collaboration on counter-terrorism, intelligence sharing, cyber security and defence science and technology.

The two sides agreed to work together to deepen economic and security cooperation in upcoming international forums in the Indo-Pacific, including the East Asia Summit, added the statement.

Singapore is Australia ’s fifth largest trading partner and fifth largest source of foreign investment.-VNA