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Singapore, France Sign Digital and Green Economy Partnership

France and Singapore will step up cooperation in areas such as smart transport, smart cities, financial innovation and agri-food technologies, under a new pact. The France-Singapore Digital and Green Partnership (DGP) will see both countries developing a work plan comprising cooperative projects with clear and tangible outcomes in the digital and green sectors.

The DGP provides a structured platform for France and Singapore to cooperate on a wide range of digital and green issues. The intent is to support public-private partnerships and private sector-led approaches that harness digital and green technologies to enhance the competitiveness of the economies and create good jobs for our people in a sustainable manner.

The France-Singapore Digital and Green Partnership is part of Singapore’s larger strategy to build a network of international partnerships that enable our companies, especially SMEs, to seize growth opportunities in the fast-growing digital and green economies.

It is also the latest in a series of initiatives to continuously update and strengthen the robust economic partnership between France and Singapore – two like-minded nations that have always placed innovation at the heart of our national strategies for growth and prosperity. At the strategic level, the Partnership will contribute to and complement existing multilateral, regional and bilateral discussions, including ongoing efforts with the EU to develop the EU-Singapore Digital Partnership.

Singapore and France enjoy strong bilateral trade and investment relations, underpinned by the Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership signed in 2012, the Joint Declaration on Innovation signed in 2017, the France-Singapore Year of Innovation in 2018, the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement which entered into force in 2019, and the Joint Ministerial Statement to maintain open and connected supply chains for essential food supplies that were issued in June 2020.

France is Singapore’s second and fourth-largest EU trading partner in goods and services respectively. France is also Singapore’s fifth largest EU investor. Singapore is France’s top trade and investment partner in ASEAN. There is an active community of over 2,500 French businesses and 300 French startups in Singapore, as well as over 200 French researchers within Singapore academic and research centres.

The Digital Readiness Workgroup was convened by the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), comprising representatives from the public, private, and people sectors. The objective of the Workgroup is to develop strategies and principles for building Digital Readiness for Singaporeans, with a particular emphasis on those who might be at risk of being excluded from opportunities in the digital future. This Blueprint presents our recommendations for building Digital Readiness in Singaporeans, guided by four strategic thrusts.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, Singapore and the United Kingdom (UK) have substantially concluded negotiations on the UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (UKSDEA). The trade deal – Singapore’s third DEA – is intended to boost digital trade and data flows, such as the promotion of interoperable e-payment systems and the prohibition of local data storage requirements. It will also encourage digital economy participation, through channels such as online consumer protection rules, and e-commerce platform access for small businesses.

Under the UKSDEA, Singapore and the UK are also pursuing cooperative projects that provide a dynamic framework for bilateral cooperation on forward-looking and emerging issues. Singapore and the UK enjoy strong economic ties, with the UK being Singapore’s largest services trading partner in Europe. In 2019, bilateral services trade exceeded S$22 billion, of which around 70% could have been digitally delivered. The UK is also Singapore’s second-largest European investor and European investment destination, with over S$100 billion worth of UK investment stock in Singapore, and close to S$60 billion worth of Singapore investment stock in the UK.

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