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The Philippines Strengthens Digital Cooperation with Singapore

DICT spokesman and Undersecretary Anna Maye Yu Lamentillo conducted the meeting with Singapore Ambassador to the Philippines Gerard Ho Wei Hong to examine future collaborative efforts and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) implementation between the Philippines and Singapore to enhance digital partnership.

The MoU on Digital Cooperation was agreed upon by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s state visit to Singapore last year. It was ratified by DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy and Josephine Teo, Singapore’s Minister for Communications, and Information.

“We reviewed with Ambassador Ho how to implement this MOU and which areas to focus on. Singapore has a wealth of experience in e-governance and cybersecurity, and they can share their best practices with us,” Lamentillo explained.

The MoU covers digital cooperation on digital connectivity, particularly in interoperable systems and methodologies that enable electronic records; cybersecurity, such as organising training courses and technical programmes through the ASEAN-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence to improve and strengthen cybersecurity skills; and digital government/e-governance, including digital government strategy, digital government services, and digital government infrastructure.

It also involves exchanging knowledge, technical experience, best practices on scam calls and short messaging services, and personal data protection. It also aims to foster collaboration in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, 5G, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, big data, analytics, and robots.

“There will also be collaboration and knowledge exchange to boost the digital innovation ecosystem, such as connecting business owners with promising solution providers; exploring cooperation on digital capability and capacity building; and exchanging knowledge and best practices on digital infrastructure,” she added.

The Philippines has increased its digital partnership with some countries. For example, before cooperating with Singapore, the Philippines signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China on electronic commerce (e-commerce).

The two countries agreed to increase trade of high-quality featured products and services; explore business interchange between MSMEs and e-commerce platforms, start-ups, and logistics service providers; and share best practices and innovative experiences in utilising e-commerce.

The agreement will facilitate the exchange of experiences, best practices, critical information, and trade and e-commerce policies. Both countries will prepare measurements to promote consumer and business protection, intellectual property, data security, and privacy rules. It also contributes to the ability of local businesses to compete in the modernising business sector. The Memorandum of Understanding is in keeping with the E-Commerce Philippine 2022 Roadmap agenda, which aims to promote cross-border partnership and market access through trade agreements and engagement programmes with key e-commerce trading partners.

While Singapore has undertaken a similar digitisation initiative with China. Singapore’s Minister of Communications and Information (MCI) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) announced the signing of eight (8) Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) and the unveiling of fourteen (14) new joint projects as part of the Singapore-China (Shenzhen) Smart City Initiative in November (SCI).

As they build economic recovery and resilience, Singapore and Shenzhen will actively establish a conducive business climate for firms to innovate and conduct cross-border transactions safely and smoothly. As the SCI began its third year of operation, the meeting noted that the number of new cooperative ventures doubled compared to the previous year.

Aside from that, on the 7th UK Singapore Financial Dialogue, dubbed Fintech Bridge, Singapore and the United Kingdom reaffirmed their commitment to expanding their financial ties. The FinTech Bridge will capitalise on fintech players’ active interest in payments, regulatory technologies, and wealth management. It will also provide structured participation that will aid in developing policy measures, improve evaluations of future challenges such as the development of distributed ledger technologies and data exchange, and facilitate trade and investment flow between different markets.

Additionally, both governments discussed recent innovations in the fintech sector, such as advances in crypto-assets, and agreed on significant areas for future collaboration. They examined their progress in tightening consumer protection legislation and implementing stable coin regulations. Both parties agreed that there is an urgent need to assist in the safe development of a digital assets ecosystem while ensuring that digital asset risks are constantly handled.

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