19 May 2019

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Creative New Zealand and National Arts Council Singapore sign new agreement

A new agreement between the arts councils of New Zealand and Singapore, signed last week, will see wider interaction between the arts sectors of the two countries, and build long-term networks and relationships.

On Friday 17 May Creative New Zealand signed an Arrangement of Understanding with the National Arts Council of Singapore.

This agreement is part of a wider New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership, launched on Friday in Singapore by our Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Rt. Hon Jacinda Ardern says the partnership “will bring benefits for the citizens of both countries and a once-in-a-generation lift to the relationship”.

The launch of this partnership marks the culmination of three years’ work between Singapore and New Zealand and expands on cooperation across trade, science, innovation, the environment, education, the arts, security and defence.

“Arts activity across Singapore is vibrant and diverse and offers new opportunities for New Zealand artists to share and exchange their practice with artists from Singapore”, says Creative New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen Wainwright, who signed the Arrangement of Understanding in Singapore.

“This formal agreement builds on the relationship that we’ve been developing with National Arts Council Singapore in recent years under our Focus on Asia initiative. We’ve seen an increase in New Zealand artists going to Singapore for artist residencies, collaborative projects with Singaporean artists, and work being programmed by some of the major presenters”, he says.

“Arts build the bridge of friendship across borders and we look forward to seeing more reciprocal opportunities taking place as a result of this agreement where arts practitioners from New Zealand and Singapore can immerse themselves in the arts context of each other’s countries and start to build long-term relationships.”

The Enhanced Partnership includes an upgrade of our Free Trade Agreement, the Closer Economic Partnership, which smooths the way for New Zealand companies to capitalise on opportunities in Singapore. Minister O’Connor also signed a Science, Technology and Innovation Arrangement on behalf of the Government that will link both countries’ science and innovation systems. Other initiatives announced on Friday under the Enhanced Partnership include a new Cyber Security Arrangement, an improved Working Holiday Scheme, a NZTE-Enterprise Singapore Arrangement, and an Arts and Culture Arrangement that includes agreements between arts councils, museums, libraries and film sectors. 

“Our common interests as small advanced economies means that Singapore is a valuable and natural partner for New Zealand. Singapore shares our ambition to protect and advance an open and inclusive rules-based order,” Prime Minister Ardern said.

Singapore is New Zealand’s most significant economic partner in South East Asia and 7th largest trading partner globally, with NZ$5.2 billion worth of goods and services trade in 2018.  It is our 5th largest foreign investor and 8th largest source of tourists.

Prime Minister Ardern said this announcement “marks a significant step up in our relationship and will result in a deeper and more modern partnership, boosting New Zealand’s prosperity. The Enhanced Partnership provides a foundation from which we can deepen cooperation in the future”. 

Media release: Prime Minister launches New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership