After just six months of negotiations, UK secured a comprehensive digital trade deal with Singapore so as to open up digital markets and keep businesses & consumers safe.
s informed, the Digital Economy Agreement – the world’s most comprehensive digital trade agreement – will capitalise on the UK’s strengths as the world’s second largest services exporter and leading digital hub.
What is more, this is the first digitally-focused trade agreement ever signed by a European nation. This comprehensive digital trade deal was agreed in record time by International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Singapore Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations S. Iswaran after just six months of negotiations.
The DEA will take UK’s trading relationship with Singapore – worth £16 billion in 2020 – to the next level by overhauling outdated trade rules that affect both goods and services exporters, making it easier for UK business to target new opportunities in both Singapore and lucrative Asian markets.
In addition, the deal will boost a sector that adds £151 billion to the economy and lifts wages, with workers in the digital economy earning around 50% more than the UK average.
Goods exporters will also benefit from streamlining cumbersome border processes. Time-consuming and costly paperwork can be replaced with e-signatures, e-contracts and electronic invoicing with greater confidence.
It’s extremely promising to see the UK agree its first-ever digital trade deal with Singapore. 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.
…Andy Burwell, CBI Director, International, said.
The Singapore DEA will overhaul trade rules, so they are tailored to UK business. Wide-ranging benefits include better data flows, stronger cybersecurity and closer links between two hi-tech and services hubs.
- Data flows are essential for providing services digitally: in 2019, 86% of the UK’s global financial services exports were digitally delivered, as were 84% of our global exports of telecommunications, computer and information services. The deal promotes personal data protection, and locks in free and trusted cross-border data flows, enabling everything from more efficient manufacturing and supply chains to more reliable infrastructure and effective maintenance of jet engines. UK companies will not have to pay for expensive data storage and processing in Singapore to do business there.
- The deal establishes a new partnership with Singapore to build ever-stronger cybersecurity defences against attacks by private operators or hostile states, which are a growing threat to individuals and businesses. Companies like Coventry’s CyberOwl and Caerphilly-based Awen Collective have set up in Singapore and are poised to be at the forefront of protecting critical national infrastructure and businesses against cyber risks, fraud, money laundering, terrorism funding and organised crime.
- The DEA links two of the world’s most dynamic hi-tech and services hubs, opening up a 6,000-mile trade superhighway between the UK and Asia. Building on the success of the UK-Singapore Fintech Bridge, it will enable future growth sectors like fintech and lawtech to benefit from deep cooperation with another advanced economy, cementing the UK’s position as a world leader in these fields.
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 and will slash red tape, cut costs and support well-paid jobs across the whole UK.
…International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan concluded.