Travel bubble between Australia and Singapore essential for business

Media release

Sunday 11th October 2020

The Australian Chamber of Commerce, Singapore today welcomed comments from Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, that Australia was considering extending a travel bubble to include Singapore.

As the COVID -19 situation continues with little likelihood of change in the foreseeable future, businesses, countries and individuals all need to adjust their thinking and mode of operating in order to remain competitive in the current environment.

Kate Baldock, Executive Director of AustCham Singapore said the resumption of travel between Australia and Singapore would help businesses in both countries a great deal.

“We need to find a new way of working, one that allows for flow of trade and services between major partners to continue but minimises the risk of further spread of the virus,” she said.

“Travel is a necessary part of doing business and while some adaptations can be successfully made, businesses are seeing the negative impact of hard border closures which have been in place since March of this year. This is having a particularly large impact in education and tourism sectors.

“The Australian business community in Singapore has been traditionally very strong and many companies have decades of success operating in the region from their offices here. However, the closure of borders and severe travel restrictions are causing real concern.

Ms Baldock said a recent survey showed over 90% of businesses surveyed indicated they would utilise a travel corridor between Singapore and Australia, and that 95% said it was important, to extremely important that they be able to travel to Australia.

“As the Australian Chamber of Commerce, we have seen how this has impacted all our members, from large multinationals to start-ups and single person entities,” she said.

“Given the trade between Australia and Singapore, the large number of Australian companies that base their regional headquarters here, and that Singapore remains a strong base from which to access the broader regional market, the comments today from Prime Minister Morrison are very encouraging.

“Singapore has now opened for essential business travel with a number of countries with strong safety protocols and strict enforceable rules; and has moved to testing on arrival for countries including Australia with low rates of community transmission.

“There is much to learn from the way Singapore is re-open its borders in a post COVID landscape. We welcome the comments from Prime Minister Morrison today and hope to see travel resume between Singapore and Australia in the near future.”

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