New Zealanders will be able to stay longer in Singapore under upgraded free trade agreement with the city state which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says will make it easier for Kiwis to visit and do business in South East Asia.
Singapore is New Zealand’s largest trading partner in the region, with $NZ4.9 billion of two-way trade and $5.1 billion of two-way direct investment in the year to June 2018.
Negotiations have now concluded on modernising the Closer Economic Partnership with Singapore, which smooths the way for New Zealand companies to explore further export opportunities in the city-state.
New Zealand visitors to Singapore will gain visa-free entry for three months - up from the current one month.
And companies with offices in Singapore will be able to send employees to work there for up to eight years, up from five years at present.
In the year to June 2018, 24,280 New Zealanders travelled to Singapore including 6400 who travelled for business, Ms Ardern said.
"Being able to stay longer is another way of helping Kiwi businesses explore new opportunities in South East Asia."
Today’s announcement marks the first step towards the launch of a broader Enhanced Partnership with Singapore that will be launched next year, Ms Ardern said.
It will see even greater co-operation between the two countries across trade, science, innovation, the environment, education, the arts, security and defence, she said.