The United Kingdom – Singapore Digital Economy Agreement

the United Kingdom - Singapore Digital Economy Agreement, United Kingdom - Singapore Digital Economy Agreement, United Kingdom - Singapore , Digital Economy Agreement, Impacts of the Digital Economy Agreement,

The United Kingdom – Singapore Digital Economy Agreement

The UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (DEA) is one of the world’s most innovative trade agreements. This Agreement covers the digitized trade in services and goods across the economies of the 2 countries. There are many important contents regulating data privacy and other digital aspects in this Agreement.

According to the official website of the United Kingdom’s government, as 2 of the most advanced digital trading nations, the UK and Singapore have reached a ground-breaking international deal that is deeper and wider than previous trade agreements covering the modern digital economy.

The DEA core trade agreement covers the following areas:

  1. Open and inclusive digital markets
  • duty-free digital content
  • co-operation on competition policy
  • support for small businesses
  • standards and conformity assessment
  • a more inclusive digital economy
  1. Data flows
  • cross-border data flows
  • international data centers
  • personal data protection
  • open government information
  • data innovation
  1. Consumer and business safeguards
  • online consumer protection
  • consumer protection against spam
  • online safety
  • cyber security
  • protection for cryptographic information
  • protection for source code
  1. Digital trading systems
  • modern electronic contracts
  • digital authentication
  • digital invoicing
  • paperless trading
  • digital customs
  • modern logistics
  1. Financial services
  • financial information
  • new financial services
  • electronic payments
  1. Tech partnerships
  • artificial intelligence and responsible use of emerging technologies
  • lawtech collaboration
  • collaboration on digital identities
  • stakeholder engagement and collaboration
  1. Additional provisions
  • information sharing
  • security, prudential carve-out, and general exceptions
  • submarine cable landing systems

Singapore has a variety of trade partners all over the world, proving itself to be the central digital hub in Asia respectively and in the entire world, in general. 

The UK is Singapore’s fourth biggest trade partner from Europe. In 2020, bilateral trade in goods between the 2 countries was valued at S$16.8 billion (US$ 12.1 billion).

Besides the United Kingdom – Singapore Digital Economy Agreement, Singapore and UK also entered into a FinTech Bridge, a cooperation agreement launched in May 2016 in London at the 6th UK-Singapore Financial Dialogue. This collaboration enables the connection between the two countries’ fintech sectors.

Other agreements between UK and Singapore are DEA Digital Customs, DEA Cybersecurity, DEA Digital Identities, DEA Electronic Trade Documents, and Electronic Invoicing.

Impacts of the Digital Economy Agreement

The DEA capitalizes on the UK’s strengths as the world’s second-largest services exporter and fifth-largest digital services exporter. With the DEA, the link between 2 of the world’s most dynamic hi-tech and services hubs is stronger than ever.

The UK – Singapore Digital Economy Agreement seeks to boost secure end-to-end digital trade, strengthen the protection of intellectual property and personal data and push small and medium-sized businesses to penetrate the digital market including e-commerce.

Organizations and individuals of the 2 countries should expect many benefits derived from the cooperation. One of the most notable advantages will be the faster and more cost-efficient transaction speed with the cumbersome paperwork slowly being converted to signatures and e-contracts. 

The DEA will pave the way for a new era of modern goods trade between the UK, Singapore, and the wider region. 

Singapore and the UK inked the digital trade agreement on February 25, 2022. The trade deal entered into force on June 14, 2022.

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