Singapore and the UK begin negotiations on a digital economy agreement

  • Ace Global
  • December 30, 2021

Businesses and consumers can look forward to the signing of the UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement, which sets out rules for reliable cross-border data flows and high data protection standards.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Ministry of Communications and Information, and the Media Information Technology Development Agency announced the start of negotiations between the Republic and the United Kingdom in a joint statement.

Isvalan, who also serves as the Minister of Transportation, said in a statement that despite the challenges of the Covid19 pandemic, the digital economy is a ray of hope and it remains resilient. He added that the agreement will build on the UK-Singapore Free Trade Agreement signed in December last year and will encourage the development of reliable, robust and interconnected digital markets for individuals and businesses.

This is the first agreement on the digital economy between Asian and European countries. It will also improve the digital connections between the two regions and enable companies to use Singapore and the United Kingdom as digital gateways to open up new opportunities in Asia and Europe.

The two parties discussed the agreement at least last year.

  • In February last year, British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab met with Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan in Singapore to discuss ways to further develop cooperation, including in the field of digital economy.
  • When visiting Singapore again last Thursday, Raab said that he hopes to complete the ongoing deal negotiations with the world’s two largest digital economies as soon as possible.

The joint statement stated that businesses of all sizes will benefit from the greater clarity and lower costs associated with seamless digital transactions. The statement added that companies and consumers are welcome to comment on the content of the agreement.

So far, Singapore has signed two agreements on the digital economy.

  • An agreement was signed with Chile and New Zealand in June last year
  • Another agreement was signed with Australia two months later

Another agreement was negotiated with South Korea in June last year.

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