Insights UK and Singapore start negotiations on new digital trade agreement

The UK and Singapore have launched negotiations on a new digital trade agreement that the Government says, “could remove barriers to digital trade and enable UK exporters to expand into high-tech markets”.

The Government says that the UK is the first European country to start negotiations on a Digital Economy Agreement (DEA). Singapore and the UK are both global leaders in the digital economy and 70% of UK services exports, from financial and legal services to music streaming and e-books, were digitally delivered to Singapore in 2019, worth £3.2 billion.

According to the Government, the DEA would open further opportunities for British businesses to deliver their services through digital trade. It would help cut red tape and ensure companies can trade more efficiently through digital technology such as electronic transactions, e-signatures and e-contracts.

Negotiations will focus on:

  • securing open digital markets for exporters, allowing them to expand into new markets and sell traditional products in new ways;
  • ensuring free and trusted cross-border data flows, while upholding high standards of personal data protection;
  • cutting red tape for UK businesses by promoting digital trading systems such as digital customs and border procedures that will save time and money when exporting;
  • upholding consumer rights and protecting businesses’ valuable intellectual property, such as source code and cryptography; and
  • deepening co-operation on future growth sectors, such as fintech and lawtech, while working with Singapore to strengthen collective cybersecurity capabilities and keep both countries safe.

To read the Government’s press release in full, click here.