Canada and Singapore to establish ‘youth mobility agreement’ on back of Trudeau visit

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SINGAPORE: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday (Sep 8) concluded a two-day working visit to Singapore with the two countries announcing plans for a “youth mobility agreement”.

This will help foster stronger people-to-people ties and promote cross-cultural exchanges by making it easier for young people from both countries to work and travel in each other’s countries, according to a statement by Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

Mr Trudeau met Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday, and both reaffirmed the warm friendship between the countries, said MFA.

Ties between Singapore and Canada are “underpinned by a shared outlook on key issues like commitment to multilateralism and the rule of law, and recognition of the importance of free trade”, the ministry added.

In their meeting at the Istana, the Prime Ministers discussed international developments and how Singapore and Canada can work together to uphold the rules-based multilateral order while advancing economic growth “for the betterment of our peoples”, said MFA.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calls on Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sep 8, 2023. (Photo: Ministry of Communications and Information)

Mr Lee also welcomed Canada’s deepening engagement of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and congratulated his counterpart on the recent upgrade of ASEAN-Canada relations to a strategic partnership.

Mr Trudeau had said on Wednesday that Canada expects to finalise a free trade agreement with the regional bloc.

MFA further described Singapore’s relations with Canada as longstanding and growing in bilateral cooperation.

The ministry pointed to a Canada-Singapore Cybersecurity Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which covers information exchange and skills among others.

Negotiations have also begun on a general security agreement to facilitate deeper defence exchanges and collaboration between Singapore and Canada.

Both countries are also discussing ways to advance cooperation in science, technology and innovation. 

Mr Trudeau’s last trip to Singapore was in 2018, which was marked with a visit to pay respects to his great-great-great-great-grandmother Esther Bernard, whose plaque can be found at Fort Canning.

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