February 21, 2024

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Singapore, UK Finalise Digital Economy Deal

Mr S. Iswaran, the Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations, and Ms Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Britain’s Secretary of State for International Trade, helmed the hybrid signing ceremony to formalise the UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (UKSGDEA). While this is Singapore’s fourth digital agreement, likely to come into force in the next few months, for Britain it is the first. The UKSGDEA is also the first digital pact between an Asian and a European country.

The deal will boost existing digital trade between Singapore and Britain and provide new areas of partnership for businesses on both sides, ultimately ensuring their consumers are better served. The two countries have already started looking into the next wave of cooperation. The expeditious conclusion of this cutting-edge agreement reflects strong trust between two like-minded and digitally progressive nations

The new deal’s key thrusts include encouraging digitalisation of the entire trading process, protecting data used and exchanged in trade deals, and facilitating a digital environment where smaller companies feel their transactions are secure and consumers are guarded against fraudulent, misleading or deceptive conduct online.

The digital sector alone adds £151 billion to the economy and lifts wages, with workers earning around 50% more than the UK average. UK services companies already operating in Singapore are well placed to take advantage of the deal, including financial giants, telecoms firms or software companies.

The deal will also cut red tape for goods exporters, streamlining cumbersome border processes and replacing time-consuming and costly paperwork with e-signatures and e-contracts.

Other benefits include:

  • Free and trusted cross-border data flows. Data flows are vital for the modern global economy, enabling everything from more efficient manufacturing and supply chains to effective maintenance of jet engines.
  • Binding commitments that ensure individuals and businesses know their data, money and intellectual property are safe.
  • Strengthening the UK and Singapore’s relationship for financial services by ensuring data can flow freely without unjustified barriers and enhanced cooperation for innovative financial services. Financial Services trade between the UK and Singapore was worth £1.7bn in 2020.
  • 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.

Singapore is a gateway to the wider Indo-Pacific region and the DEA will support our bid to join Singapore and 10 other nations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Membership would mean access to an £8.4 trillion free trade area with vast opportunities for UK business.

In addition to signing the Digital Economy Agreement, the UK and Singapore also agreed to revitalise the existing FinTech Bridge, a move that will support innovative financial services and strengthen cooperation on emerging technologies. An enhanced FinTech bridge will help provide extra support for the UK and Singaporean firms and investors to expand into each other’s markets, so both countries can capitalise on opportunities in our advanced FinTech sectors.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, agreed with the Singaporean Minister in charge of trade relations, S Iswaran to accelerate steps towards a comprehensive EU-Singapore Digital Partnership. The partnership aims to strengthen digital connectivity and interoperability of digital markets and to facilitate digital trade and investment between the EU and Singapore. It aims to address secure and sustainable digital infrastructure, trusted data flows, data innovation, the development of digital skills for workers, and the digital transformation of businesses and public services.

The Digital Partnership is intended to provide an overarching framework to strengthen digital connectivity and interoperability of digital markets and policy frameworks and facilitate digital trade between the EU and Singapore. It aims to advance cooperation on the full spectrum of digital issues, including digital economy and trade, as well as key enablers for the successful digital transformation of societies and economies.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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