By Lewis Jackson
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia and Singapore agreed on Tuesday on a “green economy” deal to boost cooperation on climate investment, financing and technology.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told a news conference in Canberra that the agreement would start with initiatives such as developing a list of environmental goods and services that could be given preferential trade treatment.
“It will support the transition of our countries to net zero emissions as well as create jobs and growth opportunities in green sectors promote the development and commercialisation of green technologies,” Lee said.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese cited the A$30 billion ($18.8 billion) Sun Cable project, which aims to export solar power from Northern Australia to Singapore via Indonesia, as an example of what the agreement aims to achieve.
“A project like Sun Cable which has the potential to export clean energy to Singapore is the ultimate win-win,” Albanese said.
Lee, asked about U.S. export controls targeting the Chinese semiconductor industry, told the news conference the issue was “very serious” and raised concerns about economic decoupling.
“We do worry that valid national security considerations may trigger off further consequences and may result in less economic cooperation, less interdependency, less trust and possibly ultimately a less stable world,” he said.
The leaders also discussed a major cybersecurity breach at Optus, an Australian telecom owned by Singapore-listed Singtel. Lee said Singaporean cybersecurity agencies had contacted their Australian counterparts and offered assistance.
Lee also said the Singaporean military was ready to help with disaster relief in flood-stricken southeast Australia.
($1 = 1.5929 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Lewis Jackson; Editing by Robert Birsel)