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Singapore-U.K. Agreements to Strengthen Tech Leadership

During his visit to Singapore, U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden and Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU). The agreements will strengthen the world-leading positions of the UK and Singapore in cyber security, connectivity, and AI.

During UK Deputy Prime Minister Oliver’s first international trip since his appointment last year, he met with Minister Josephine and signed the MoUs. The UK’s Department of Science, Innovation, and Technology, Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information, and the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office reached an agreement on these.

The two new MoU signed between Singapore and the UK builds on the recent agreements in digital trade facilitation, digital identities, and cybersecurity, according to Minister Josephine.

The swiftness, vigour, and rigour of the collaboration are evidence of the countries’ strategic alignment on numerous issues pertaining to the digital economy and emergent technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), future communications, and data flows.

Through these innovative collaborations, the two countries will also develop concrete bilateral initiatives that can offer tangible benefits to businesses and individuals.

“Emerging technologies like AI present challenges and opportunities for all countries. But by cooperating on research, regulation and our experience of how we use them in Government – we can deliver better and more efficient public services,” said UK Deputy Prime Minister Oliver.

The UK and Singapore are technological leaders on a global scale, and these new agreements will bolster their already expanding trade and investment ties.

Both agreements build upon the February 2022 Digital Economy Agreement and the 2020 Free Trade Agreement between the UK and Singapore. By enhancing cooperation on emerging technologies and data utilisation, the agreements will contribute to a further increase in the £11.4 billion (SGD 20.9 billion) in annual services trade between the two nations.

The Emerging Technologies MoU obligates the parties to:

  • Sharing both countries’ experiences of building new telecommunications infrastructure, like 5G networks, to improve future connectivity as digital communications technology accelerates
  • Promoting more business partnerships on Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Identifying ‘trustworthy’ use of AI which can be replicated
  • Aligning technical standards for the use of AI
  • New research between the UK National Health Service and Singapore’s National AI Office to understand how AI can improve health services and support for patients

While the MoU on Data cooperation commits to:

  • Increase digital trade between the countries and learn from each other how the use of data is improving public services and Government efficiency
  • Establish a new Strategic Intergovernmental Dialogue to discuss domestic data regulation, protection and international transfer of data
  • Sharing research and experimentation on how using data can deliver better public services and economic growth
  • Working on a new set of standards for publishing anonymised Government datasets to improve global cooperation
  • Sharing best practices on data management in Government and between Government and business.

Collectively, the agreements will strengthen the UK’s and Singapore’s positions as global leaders in the use of data and emergent technologies.

Through collaborative efforts, the two nations intend to capitalise on each other’s strengths, expertise, and resources to drive progress and achieve mutual gains. This partnership represents a commitment to leveraging the power of data and emerging technologies to unleash new opportunities, address shared challenges, and promote economic growth and security in both countries. By combining their expertise and resources, Singapore and the UK hope to remain technological leaders in the digital age.


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