The CEP upgrade is changing the structure of the existing free trade agreement to bring modern contract practices in New Zealand and Singapore in line with modern contractual practices and to improve the accessibility and legibility of the agreement. The CEP upgrade consists of a negotiated package of binding and non-binding commitments between New Zealand and Singapore: “This modernized agreement will further reduce trade barriers and strengthen regulatory cooperation and e-commerce, benefiting businesses in both our countries. I look forward to deepening economic relations between our countries,” Chan said. The closer economic partnership agreement between New Zealand and Singapore came into force on 1 January 2001. This is the most comprehensive trade agreement New Zealand has negotiated, with the exception of the agreement on closer economic relations with Australia. The CEP aims to establish close historical links between Singapore and New Zealand by improving trade opportunities for goods, services and investment. In addition to their strong economic relations, Singapore and New Zealand work closely together in the defence field through platforms such as the Asean-Plus defence ministers` meeting and the five power defence agreements. The Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) with Singapore was one of our fastest free trade agreements, which lasted less than a year before negotiations were concluded. Signed in 2000, the CEP came into force in 2001. Singapore is now New Zealand`s largest trading partner in the Southeast Asia region, with NZ 5.2 billion in two-way trade and $5.1 billion in two-way investment in December 2018. In the two years since the agreement came into force, Singapore`s bilateral trade with New Zealand increased from $0.97 billion (2000) to $1.09 billion (2002), an increase of 12.6%.
This new chapter establishes mechanisms for resolving business-to-business disputes more effectively and more quickly. The chapter also promotes good regulatory practices through cooperation between government regulators, particularly in areas related to goods and services. New Zealand and Singapore have a long-standing and close relationship. We share views on trade, economic, political and security issues and see Singapore as an important partner. The Closer Economic Partnership Agreement between New Zealand and Singapore (ANZSCEP) was signed on Friday 17 May 2019 by Trade Relations Minister S Iswaran and New Zealand Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O`Connor.