Singapore and the United Kingdom have signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) on digital trade, identities, and cybersecurity.

  • Ace Global
  • December 30, 2021

Singapore and the United Kingdom will collaborate more closely to enable digital trade between the two nations as part of a collaboration that will make commercial digital transactions easier, safer, and less expensive.

The signing of three memorandums of understanding (MOUs) by the two countries on Monday strengthened their ties (Nov 29).

The MOUs will increase digital connection between countries, according to a joint statement from Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information and the United Kingdom’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport. “In 2019, 70% of UK cross-border services exports to Singapore were supplied digitally,” the government organizations stated. The value of the exports was £3.2 billion (S$5.85 billion).

“These MOUs will help to expand opportunities for digital delivery of cross-border services between the UK and Singapore, provide a foundation for working closely with like-minded digital partners, and help set a global benchmark for high-standards digital cooperation to bring economic and societal benefits to both countries,” they added.

The Memorandums of Understanding will also support the shared goals and core aspects of the UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement, which aims to foster trustworthy, strong, and connected digital marketplaces for people and enterprises.

The agreement, which is now being negotiated, would define regulations to facilitate trustworthy cross-border data transfers while still ensuring strong data protection standards.

The MOUs were signed in London on Monday by Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information, Josephine Teo, and the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, Nadine Dorries.

Mrs. Teo is also in London for the London Future Tech Forum, which aims to stimulate conversation on the role of technology in promoting open societies and addressing global issues, among other things. Governments and academics are among those who have taken part.

The nations would share experience and undertake pilot projects in areas such as electronic trade papers and invoicing under the first MOU. According to the ministries, this would assist stimulate the development and acceptance of digital trade facilitation solutions at the bilateral and international levels.

Among the benefits of trade digitization is increased accessibility for small and medium-sized businesses to engage in cross-border commerce. “The exchange of best practices will also have an impact on the development of safe global supply chains and interoperable digital ecosystems,” the ministries noted.

Singapore and the United Kingdom will collaborate more closely under the second MOU to establish mutual recognition of digital identities between the two governments. The MOU is “an significant step toward achieving interoperability of digital identification regimes between various jurisdictions,” which, among other things, can allow for more reliable identity verification and speedier application processing, according to the ministries.

“As a result, cross-border trade obstacles would be reduced, allowing enterprises and individuals to traverse the worldwide digital economy with more ease, confidence, and security.”

The third MOU will strengthen both countries’ current cybersecurity cooperation. It will also expand on the nations’ existing efforts to create a safe and resilient cyberspace for businesses and consumers.

“Singapore has been collaborating with like-minded nations to develop a global digital infrastructure that is open, inclusive, interoperable, and safe,” said Mrs Teo, who is also the Minister-in-Charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity. She also stated that Singapore-UK collaborations “make digital transactions quicker, safer, and cheaper, allowing firms in both nations to exploit opportunities in the emerging digital economy as we attempt to recover from the epidemic.”

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