UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement comes into force

15 Jun 2022 01:08 PM

This means that businesses across the whole of the UK can start taking advantage of the trade agreement, which was signed by the International Trade Secretary in Singapore in February and is the most innovative trade deal agreed anywhere in the world.

This agreement provides a strong platform for meaningful bilateral cooperation on tech and digital, allowing us to build common approaches to emerging issues and create new opportunities for innovative tech businesses.

On cooperation, the agreement creates new tech partnerships between the UK and Singapore, including areas of fintech, lawtech and data innovation. It also pledges to work towards interoperability of AI governance frameworks and digital identity and support the development of standards related to digital trade in international fora. The deal also provides a mechanism for the UK and Singapore to use cross-stakeholder engagement to inform the implementation and further modernisation of the agreement.

The DEA comprises five bilateral agreements between the UK and Singapore including cooperation on Fintech, Digital Customs, Cybersecurity, Digital Identities, Electronic Trade Documents and Electronic Invoicing. You can read more about what the DEA means for UK tech businesses here.

The agreement is also good news for paperless trading as it will facilitate seamless end-to-end digital trade through common and interoperable digital systems for e-payments, e-invoicing, e-signatures and other key electronic documents such as bills of lading. With the UK the government intending to introduce the Electronic Trade Documents Bill, the UK-Singapore DEA can be leveraged to enable faster and cheaper transactions, and brings time and cost savings for businesses.

Julian David, CEO, techUK said:

“The UK’s first ever Digital Economy Agreement with Singapore sets a global benchmark for high-standard digital trade rules and strengthens the UK’s leadership in digital trade policy.

“Through its cooperation framework, the agreement provides a strong platform for meaningful bilateral digital regulatory cooperation and creates new opportunities for innovative tech businesses in areas of fintech, data, cybersecurity and digital identities. techUK is looking forward to working with the government, our members and SGTech to bring this agreement to life.”