NEWS28 June 2021

UK and Singapore discuss digital trade treaty

Asia Pacific Brexit GDPR News Privacy Public Sector UK

UK – The UK and Singapore have opened negotiations over a trade agreement designed to remove digital barriers between the two countries.

Singapore skyline

The agreement, if ratified, would seek to increase opportunities for British businesses to deliver digital services in Singapore and help enable electronic transactions, e-signatures and e-contracts.

In 2019, 70% of British digital exports, ranging from financial and legal services to music streaming and e-books, were available in Singapore and were worth a combined £3.2bn.

The negotiations between the two countries will focus on securing an open digital market for exporters and ensuring free and trusted cross-border data flows, while maintaining personal data protection.

The UK and Singapore are also negotiating issues such as reducing ‘red tape’ on UK businesses through digital trading systems such as digital customs and border procedures and protecting intellectual property and upholding consumer rights.

Both countries are also looking to increase cooperation in areas such as fintech, lawtech and cybersecurity.

Liz Truss, UK international trade secretary, said: “A cutting-edge deal with Singapore will keep us at the forefront of the technological revolution, ensuring we lead the way in digitally delivered trade and industries like fintech and cybersecurity.

“Our ambition is to make the UK a global hub for services and digital trade, by striking a series of advanced, high-standards agreements with leading nations across the world that drive productivity, jobs, and growth across the UK.”