9th Singapore-Australian Meeting Joint Statement Released

On March 5th, a joint statement between Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was released, covering numerous topics and agreements discussed at the ongoing Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, most notably the permission to dock nuclear-powered submarines in Singapore.

Among the subjects in the agreement were trade and the economy, which focused on Australian investment and development in Southeast Asia, improving supply chains, trading between allied nations, and introducing a digital economy. The efforts are aimed at building greater financial ties and opportunities, including advancements in science and technology, healthcare, and education.

However, the most significant section was defense, as tensions are increasing in the Indo-Pacific region. Joint military exercises to increase capabilities, enhance performance, and better prepare for the scenario of conflict where the countries’ major points of interest are involved.

Singapore also reiterated the offer for future Australian submarines acquired under AUKUS, an 2021 agreement between the United States, the U.K., and Australia to supply nuclear-powered submarines to the Royal Australian Navy, to dock in the country.