Singapore is Australia`s largest trading partner in Southeast Asia and the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) has made much of that success. SAFTA has not only abolished tariffs, but has also improved market access for Australia`s major exports in sectors such as education, green technologies and telecommunications. Singapore is one of the world`s most prosperous countries and Australia`s largest trading and investment partner in Southeast Asia. SAFTA has also been updated to establish a comprehensive schedule of product-specific rules of origin to simplify management and reduce compliance costs for distributors under the agreement. This update is much simpler than the original 50 percent content rule used in SAFTA, which means that 50 percent of the value of the products must be added either in Australia or Singapore to get preferential treatment. This method of rules of origin was very complex and required a detailed assessment of production costs and sources of production. This method was also very costly for businesses, as it often required sophisticated accounting systems and the ability to solve complex accounting issues. Since Singapore is a free port, SAFTA emphasizes the guarantee of liberal access conditions for many Australian service providers such as exporters of legal, financial and educational services. In addition to existing duty-free products, the updated rules of origin will simplify management and reduce compliance costs for operators using the agreement. SAFTA offers a wide range of Australian exporters greater opportunities in goods and services, further strengthens trade and investment relations, eliminates Singapore tariffs and offers Australian companies cheaper inputs for a number of products. SAFTA is a mutual agreement and Australian products or manufacturers get the same duty-free entry in Singapore.
October 13, 2016 Hon Steven Ciobo MP, Minister of Trade, Tourism and Investment, and his Singaporean counterpart Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Investment, in Canberra, the agreement amending the SAFTA, which formalizes the trade results announced on 6 May 2016 by Prime Minister Turnbull and his Singaporean counterpart, Prime Minister Lee, under the auspices of the Australia-Singapore Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP).