Singapore is Australia’s 7th largest trading partner, making up 3.4% of Australia’s trading portfolio. A Free Trade Agreement was signed in 2003, the 2nd in Australia’s history after the Closer Economic Relations agreement with New Zealand in 1983. Australia’s total merchandise trade (imports + exports) with Singapore was A$12.6b in 2016. Major Australian exports to Singapore include crude/refined petroleum, gold and animal oils/fats. Major Australian imports from Singapore include edible products, computers, and ships/boats/floating structures. Australian service exports to Singapore were worth A$5b in 2016, made up predominantly of professional, technical and financial services.
There were over 8,000 Singaporean student enrolments in Australia in 2016. This figure has been relatively stagnant since 2006, possibly due to the high growth of international schools within Singapore and the appreciation of the AUD from 2008 onwards. But the number of Singaporean tourists coming to Australia have risen significantly over the last 10 years.
Singaporean investment in Australia was worth A$99b (3% of total stock of foreign investment) in 2016. Singaporean investment has traditionally been concentrated in real estate, but has become more diversified. For example, Singapore Power's investment in the Victorian and South Australian electricity distribution networks in 2004; Singapore Investment Corporation's acquisition of the Mayne Group's portfolio of private hospitals in 2003; and the SingTel acquisition of Optus in 2001. The Singapore Investment Corporation also has stakes in Myer Melbourne and Westfield Parramatta.
Australian investment in Singapore was worth A$62b (2.8% of Australia’s foreign investment portfolio) in 2016. Major businesses invested in Singapore include Australia's major banks; engineering design and construction firms including Lend Lease Asia Holding and CIMIC Group and logistics groups such as Toll Holdings.