Singapore green economy deal promises more jobs, less carbon emissions

By Melissa Coade

Wednesday October 13, 2021

Dan Tehan says the new green economy agreement would remove non-tariff barriers for environmental goods and services.
Dan Tehan says the new green economy agreement would remove non-tariff barriers for environmental goods and services. (Vincenzo Izzo/Sipa USA)

A new green economy agreement (GEA) that Australia is negotiating with Singapore has been billed by Dan Tehan as a way to lower carbon emissions and create ‘good jobs’, as both nations move to transition to more sustainable energy industries.

In a statement issued on Monday, Australia’s trade, tourism and investment minister said the GEA would remove non-tariff barriers for environmental goods and services. This would serve to strengthen the already open, liberalised trade and investment relationship between Australia and Singapore, he said.

Tehan added that under the terms of the proposed deal with Singapore, both nations would also back initiatives to encourage trade and investment and lower regulatory ‘burdens’ for businesses.

“Australia and Singapore are working together to reduce emissions in both countries by lowering the cost and accelerating the uptake of green technology,” the minister said.

Negotiations over the deal commenced in late September after the prime ministers for Australia and Singapore, Scott Morrison and Lee Jsien Loong, discussed the possibility of a bilateral agreement earlier this year at the sixth Australia-Singapore annual leaders’ meeting in June. 

Since that time, Tehan and Singapore’s trade and industry minister Gan Kim Yong have issued a joint vision statement which outlines the intention of both nations to cooperate on climate change, ‘green growth and economic cooperation’ as part of the agreement. 

“The GEA will benefit workers and businesses of all sizes in both countries, and contribute towards shaping regional and multilateral policies on trade and environmental sustainability.” Yong said. 

Tehan’s statement also included a line underscoring the mutual commitment Australia and Singapore shared to an open rules-based global trading system, which has been an ongoing theme of Australia’s recent diplomatic squabbles with Beijing.

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