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Singapore and New Zealand Digital Economy Partnership Agreement Commences

The Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) for Singapore and New Zealand will begin on 7 January 2021, following the ratification of the agreement by both countries.

DEPA was the first digital economy agreement that Singapore had concluded and signed. It establishes common digital trade rules and fosters co-operation on emerging issues in the digital economy.

It promotes interoperability between the digital systems of different countries. With DEPA, Singapore businesses can expect greater efficiency, increased trust, and reduced costs or digital barriers when trading or conducting business digitally with their partners in Chile and New Zealand.

DEPA fosters co-operation in emerging digital areas

In addition to establishing rules for digital trade, the DEPA fosters cooperation in emerging digital areas. It promotes interoperability between different regimes by aligning standards and addressing new issues brought about by digitalisation.

These digital issues include e-invoicing, digital identities, Fintech, artificial intelligence, data flows and data innovation, trade and investment opportunities for SMEs, and digital inclusivity.

The DEPA for Singapore represents a building block towards fostering greater digital connectivity between countries and developing multilateral rules on digital trade at the WTO.

It complements Singapore’s network of free trade agreements and our efforts as co-convener of the World Trade Organisation Joint Statement Initiative on E-Commerce to develop baseline digital trade rules.

The relationship between Singapore, Chile and New Zealand has demonstrated a strong partnership in increasing digital connectivity and will strengthen economic ties between the countries. Canada just recently announced its interest to begin exploratory discussions to join DEPA.

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