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UK and Singapore sign new digital trade deal

Written by Tue 21 Dec 2021

In a bid to increase cooperation and collaboration, a major digital agreement has been signed by the UK and Singapore. The Digital Economy Agreement (DEA) was formed as three memorandums of understanding (MOUs) were signed by the two nations. As 70% of UK cross-border services exports to Singapore were digital in nature, totalling £3.2 billion in value, it is hoped that strengthening digital connectivity will increase this figure.

UK International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan points to a reduction in red tape, cost cuts and new jobs as key benefits from the new deal. “This cutting-edge agreement with Singapore links two of the world’s most dynamic hi-tech hubs and plays to our strengths as pioneers in digital trade. Negotiated in just six months, it is the first digital trade deal ever signed by a European nation,” says Trevelyan

In practice, the first MOU will see pilot projects in areas such as electronic trade documents and invoicing being undertaken and knowledge sharing increased. Hailed as “the world’s most comprehensive digital trade agreement” by the UK government, it took just six months to agree and is set to reduce the bureaucracy involved in UK businesses entering the Singapore digital market.

Business groups in the UK reacted positively to this development, with Andy Burwell, CBI Director, International, calling the UK’s first-ever digital trade deal with Singapore “extremely promising”

“This deal will help to unlock digital trade and support key industries of the future, driving forward the UK’s global competitiveness, jobs and growth. Enabling digital exports in its broadest sense, and importantly the free flow of data, is integral. This agreement is only the starting point for what can be achieved through global collaboration on digital,” Burwell adds.

Written by Tue 21 Dec 2021


cyber security international relations Singapore trade UK
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