A Happy New Year to all ANZA readers. I hope you celebrated the start of 2024 in good spirits and with good company. As we look forward, I want to take a moment to look back on an eventful 2023 and reflect on some of the accomplishments we have progressed in Singapore.
My first year as High Commissioner to Singapore has been filled with engagements with government, businesses, and the diplomatic corps as well as forging connections through the arts, sciences and sport, to name a few.
2023 was transformative in many respects:
- We celebrated an incredible milestone – the 20th Anniversary of the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA)
- We welcomed Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles at the 8th Singapore-Australia Annual Leaders Meeting and the 20th IISS Shangri-La Dialogue
- We hosted nine First Nations businesses as part of Singapore Landing Pad immersion week
- We commemorated the first anniversary of the Singapore-Australia Green Economy Agreement
Similarly in this new year, we at the Australian High Commission Singapore will continue to reach out widely to better understand Singapore’s plans for a sustainable shared future, and how we can design the next stage bilateral partnership to complement it.
We are currently working on our next iteration of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. When it was developed in 2015, it was the first of its kind for Singapore. The next iteration will chart the 10 years from 2025 – 2035. The Singapore-Australia relationship will be enhanced by increased two-way trade and investment in renewable energy, digitisation, food supply, education and skills, and health and ageing services amongst others.
Looking ahead a year, in 2025 we will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of our bilateral relationship with Singapore. We’re already planning how we will celebrate!
Once again, wishing you all a very happy and healthy year ahead and I look forward to continuing work (and play) with ANZA in 2024.