Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his New Zealand counterpart, Jacinda Ardern
(Photo: channelnewsasia.com)

Singapore (VNA) – Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his New Zealand counterpart, Jacinda Ardern, on May 17 issued a joint statement, agreeing to upgrade their bilateral relations into enhanced partnership.

The same day, competent authorities of both sides upgraded a long-standing Free Trade Agreement - the Agreement between New Zealand and Singapore on a Closer Economic Partnership (ANZSCEP), which took effect in 2001. Principles in the new documents will help simplify registration for tax exempt status as well as shorten time for customs clearance procedures, which must be completed within 24 hours after arriving in each nation. Meanwhile, it only takes goods sent using express delivery services four hours after local authorities received dossiers.

Jacinda Ardern is on her very first official visit to Singapore in her position as the Prime Minister of New Zealand. Last year, she came to Singapore to attend various events held in the framework of the 32nd ASEAN Summits and related meetings.

During her stay in Singapore this time, she had meetings with Singaporean President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minsiter Lee Hsien Loong. The leaders witnessed the signing of various documents on enhancing collaboration across the fields of trade, defence-security, innovative technology and people-to-people exchanges, among others.-VNA