The National University of Singapore (NUS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with an international tech giant for collaboration to boost the development of quantum communication and computing technologies and explore potential industrial applications of quantum capabilities.
Quantum computing has the potential to solve computational problems that are beyond the reach of classical computers by harnessing the laws of quantum mechanics to build more powerful tools for processing information. Developing quantum algorithms and designing useful quantum applications require new skills and potentially radically different approaches. Quantum communication offers encryption resistant to computational hacks and new possibilities in networking.
The collaboration is led by the Quantum Engineering Programme (QEP), a national initiative launched in 2018 by the National Research Foundation, Singapore (NRF), which aims to leverage quantum technologies to solve real-world problems. The programme is hosted by NUS.
Under the MoU, the tech giant will support QEP in the development of quantum computing research and projects and connect to the National Quantum-Safe Network for quantum communications. Both areas include the identification of use cases and development of applications that could support future commercialisation of Singapore-designed quantum computing and communication technologies, and the joint organisation of academic, scientific, and public outreach activities like seminars, workshops, festivals, and conferences.
NUS Deputy President (Research & Technology) said that Singapore’s journey to becoming a knowledge-based economy requires a right mix of world-class talent, cutting-edge infrastructure, and a well-established knowledge transfer ecosystem. A cornerstone of this vision is the QEP hosted at NUS, which brings together expertise in quantum science and engineering and aims to translate radical innovations into commercialised solutions. This collaboration between QEP and the private sector is a crucial enabler for the nation’s full digital transformation and opens the door to a quantum-ready future.
Quantum technologies have been identified as a key technology area under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2025 Plan, which NRF manages. The collaboration between QEP and the tech giant will accelerate the development of innovations and solutions in this field.
The Director (Smart Nation and Digital Economy) at NRF, said that through its early and steady investments over the last 20 years, Singapore has developed world-class capabilities in quantum technologies. They intend to collaborate with the tech giant to bring these technologies to fruition through actual products and services and continue to spur the local research ecosystem to push the envelope in developing capabilities and technologies that are of interest to the industry.
Since its establishment, QEP has supported eight major research projects to further the development of quantum technologies. New projects include exploring more powerful hardware and software solutions for quantum computers for commercial tasks like optimising delivery routes for goods, simulating chemicals to help design drugs, or making manufacturing more efficient. These solutions could become a reality when larger, more advanced quantum computers become available. Meanwhile, the National Quantum-Safe Network will see the integration of highly secure quantum communication systems into local fibre networks.
QEP also nurtures opportunities that involve local and international companies in Singapore’s vibrant innovation ecosystem. Also, QEP is preparing Singapore to be a hub for innovation in quantum devices and services and making this a success will require combining efforts with industry, said Associate Professor and Director of the QEP. They are delighted that the tech giant is bringing its breadth and depth of cloud technologies to support this shared vision and they are looking forward to seeing the outcomes of this collaboration, added the assoc. professor, who is also from the NUS Department of Physics, and is a Principal Investigator at the Centre for Quantum Technologies.
Thailand has steadily improved its position in the United Nations (UN) Digital Government Development Ranking. The country intends to rank in the top 40 on the E-Government Development Index (EGDI) worldwide by 2027.
In line with these ambitions, Dr Suphot Thienwut, Director of the Digital Government Development Agency (DGA), revealed the country’s digital government development plan for 2023-2027, which the Economic Development Council accepted.
The document will guide the country toward becoming a fully functional digital government. This year, DGA has set a significant aim of developing Thailand’s digital government into a modern country (Smart Nation) to improve Thai people’s quality of life (Smart Life). As a result, the government sector must change to stay up with the times.
“DGA want to see Thai people’s quality of life improve. We want Thai citizens to have accessible, comprehensive, and unequal access to public health care. We want to see the business sector operate quickly and seamlessly, increasing organisational efficiency. We want our country to be modern. Keep up with the rest of the world for the sake of all Thais. And we believe that public services that are simple, convenient, quick, and transparent may be provided,” Suphot remarked.
DGA aims to encourage public engagement and information transparency. Connect and build services that are simple, easy to use, and available to the public and commercial sectors as a one-stop shop, all while continuing to improve digital skills for government staff.
In addition, the organisation connects more than 80 public services to deliver services through a unified, simple, and comprehensive channel. Over the last year, the “governmental” application has been used over 3. 8 million times. While SMEs or the business sector have been aided in contacting over 95 licences through the government site, making it easier to open a company.
The DGA will continue to enhance the level of public service work performed by local government entities by the end of 2022. It has launched a local digital system to aid the efficiency of local government workers in offering timely services to residents.
These are examples of how the DGA plays the function of a “Smart Connector” for the betterment of Thai people’s lives. In 2023, DGA aims to support local authorities in 400 locations to advance digital governance with various government institutions.
Furthermore, DGA sponsors the “Connect to Be Better” event to usher in a new era. They are establishing the vision to transform the government into a digital government and a strategy to update the organisation’s image and make co-creation more accessible and connect the government with the public to achieve a valid digital government.
The mission of digital government is critical for bringing the country up to international standards. Therefore, the DGA has been designated the host agency for preparing the digital government integration plan. The proposal was given to the committee assessing the spending for the integrated approach, which Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan chaired.
The meeting authorised 78 projects from 51 agencies, including the money, as part of the plan. DGA offered a budget of 5,523.9 million baht (US$167.60 million). All the information will be forwarded to the Budget Office for assessment to prepare a draught Act on the annual budget for 2024.
Additionally, Suphot encourages DGA employees to have the genetics or DNA of a “Smart Connector” or co-creator and to be ready to work to connect the government with the people to improve people’s lives. DGA is responsible for making government services more convenient for citizens.
The Ho Chi Minh City municipal Department of Information and Communications aims to fully digitise public services by linking up with the National Public Service Portal in 2023, with a goal of 100% online availability.
The city will also focus on accelerating digital transformation and smart city development, the department said. It strives to fully connect with the Ministry of Public Security’s identity authentication and population database systems, as well as the national databases of other ministries and sectors.
The city will work to deploy digital citizenship and adopt unified mobile applications so that people and businesses can use public services anywhere and anytime. The Department also aims to operate five digital platforms to serve management work. It plans to operationalise six specialised information systems of departments and sectors, including electronic health records of the Health Department and land use information of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
In November 2022, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee launched an information system to handle administrative procedures. This system was developed by combining the online public service portal and the electronic single-window system. The VNPT-built system is capable of handling 17 million dossiers each year.
As OpenGov Asia reported, people and enterprise-centred systems are connected with the National Public Service Portal, the electronic authentication, identification systems, and information systems and databases of ministries and central agencies. This has created favourable conditions for individuals and organisations to handle administrative procedures in a swift and accurate manner.
The authorities in Ho Chi Minh City view administrative reforms as a priority and measure the success of these reforms based on the satisfaction of citizens and the growth of businesses, the Chairman of the city’s People’s Committee noted.
Around 13 million people in the city, including the local population of almost ten million and people from other localities, require administrative procedures to be processed. It will be hard for civil servants to complete handling papers on schedule if they use traditional methods. Therefore, applying an information system for handling administrative procedures is an urgent need, the Chairman explained.
The city has also announced plans to coordinate with a global financial institution to develop a data management strategy, aiming to better cultivate data for government operations. The strategy identified a vision, specific goals, priority areas, and plans for the implementation of data and digitisation projects to improve the city’s data-driven governance.
Ho Chi Minh wants its digital economy to account for 25% of the southern hub’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) by 2025. Accordingly, the local government will focus on raising public awareness of digital transformation, organising the implementation of digital transformation tasks, and completing the digital government. Authorities will work to integrate and effectively exploit data to aid post-COVID-19 socio-economic recovery and development and support modern-oriented governance.
Specific action programmes will be mapped out and implemented, while the application of information technology will be accelerated across fields. The local government will also work to ensure information security and safety when building the digital government, economy, and society. The government said it would strongly invest in human resources development, focusing on training and fostering cadres, civil servants, and public employees.
When compared to conventional software, AI faces several hazards. AI systems are taught on data that can change over time, often dramatically and unexpectedly, influencing the systems in unforeseen ways.
These systems are also “socio-technical,” meaning they are affected by social dynamics and human behaviour. The intricate interplay of these technical and societal aspects might result in AI dangers that influence people’s lives in circumstances ranging from their interactions with online chatbots to the outcomes of job and loan applications.
As a result, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the United States Department of Commerce has issued it’s Artificial Intelligence Risk Management Framework (AI RMF 1.0), a guidelines document for voluntary use by organisations designing, developing, and deploying, or using AI services to help manage the many risks of AI technologies. The AI RMF was developed in close partnership with the business and public sectors in response to a directive from Congress.
“This voluntary framework will assist in developing and deploying AI technology in ways that support the United States, other nations, and organisations to improve AI trustworthiness while limiting risks following our democratic ideals,” said Deputy Commerce Secretary Don Graves. “It should stimulate AI innovation and growth while enhancing — rather than suppressing or undermining — civil freedoms, civil rights, and equity for everyone.”
The AI RMF establishes a flexible, organised, and quantified process for enterprises to address AI risks. This AI risk management method can reap the value of AI technologies while limiting the potential of negative repercussions on individuals, groups, communities, companies, and society.
It is meant to respond to the AI landscape as technologies advance and to be used by organisations to various degrees and competencies so that society can profit from AI while simultaneously being guarded against its potential downsides.
The approach enables firms to think differently about AI and vulnerability. It encourages enterprises to approach AI with a new perspective, including how to think about, discuss, assess, and monitor AI risks and their possible positive and negative implications.
Under Secretary for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Laurie E. Locascio underlined the framework is part of NIST’s broader endeavour to foster trust in AI technologies, which is required if the technology is to be generally embraced by society.
“The AI Risk Management Framework may assist enterprises and other organisations of any size and sector in launching or improving their AI risk management methods,” Locascio added. “It offers a new way to incorporate responsible practises and actionable recommendations to operationalise trustworthy and responsible AI. We anticipate that the AI RMF will aid in the development of best practices and standards.”
The AI RMF is split into two sections. The first section addresses how enterprises should frame AI risks and describes the features of trustworthy AI systems. The framework’s second section, the core, describes four specific roles — govern, map, measure, and manage — to assist companies in addressing the hazards of AI systems in practice. These functions can be used in various circumstances and at any point in the AI life cycle.
For the past 18 months, NIST has been building the AI RMF in collaboration with the corporate and public sectors. The paper incorporates about 400 sets of formal comments from NIST from over 240 different organisations on drafting versions of the framework. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today released statements from some organisations that have already committed to using or promoting the framework.
The agency also released a voluntary AI RMF Playbook today as an advisory book for navigating and applying the framework. NIST intends to cooperate with the AI community to enhance the framework regularly and invites additions and changes to the playbook at any time. In addition, NIST expects to develop a Trustworthy and Responsible AI Resource Centre to assist enterprises in implementing the AI RMF 1.0.
According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Communication and Informatics (Kominfo) and a research agency, the Digital Literacy Index in 2022 grew by 0.05 points, from 3.49 to 3.54. Director General of Informatics Applications Semuel A. Pangerapan noted that the 2022 Digital Literacy Index study revealed the improvement was particularly pronounced in digital culture and digital ethics.
The outcomes of Indonesia’s digital literacy mapping provide an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of digital skills and knowledge levels and an insight into the country’s situations and potential. Semuel said the digital security component necessitates all stakeholders’ attention and collaborative efforts.
“Based on the 2022 Kominfo Digital Literacy Index survey results, there is an increase of roughly zero point zero five points. “From 3.49 to 3.54 aggregate figures,” he revealed at the Launching of Indonesia’s Digital Literacy Status 2002, which took place in Central Jakarta.
There has been a growth in the aspects of digital culture and digital ethics in general. Based on the survey performed last year, Indonesia’s digital culture is at 3.48 points, digital skills are still about 3.52 points, and digital ethics increased by 3.68 points. Eventually, the safety index (safety) still requires attention due to its low level. With a score of 3.12, Indonesians are still readily duped by scams and bogus news from those with bad intentions.
The Ministry of Communication and Information has conducted three National Digital Literacy Index surveys since 2020. The study was designed to assess the state of digital literacy.
“Our assessments’ results are divided by the area and how there are variances in various locations. In Jogja, for comparison, the average level of digital literacy is 3.64. Similarly, the figure is the same in West Kalimantan. East Kalimantan is third, and West Papua is fourth, with a score of 3.62. Furthermore, Central Java ranks fifth with a digital literacy level of 3.61 persons,” he elaborated.
The survey results also demonstrate attempts to promote digital literacy in each province, which is required so that digital literacy programmes are on target. In addition, this measurement aims to determine Indonesian society’s awareness of digital literacy so that the ministry may create maps of where digital literacy should be implemented more broadly.
Digital literacy is classified into three categories: education, government (army/TNI and police/Polri), and the general public. It is 3.70 in the Education category. The government segment is 3.74, whereas the public component is 3.50.
People have been victims of fraud and misinformation due to a lack of digital literacy. Therefore, governments worldwide focus on developing digital literacy in their countries. Cybercriminals, such as online scams, fake news, and financial crime, are significant concerns in Thailand. Taking note of the situation, the government has launched the Pao Tang application, which provides warnings about scams and fake news involving financial fraud or financial crime to help people to keep up with the current situation and manage the new complexity that has caused significant damage.
The technology will connect data from the Anti-Fake News Centre (AFNC) databases at the Ministry of Digital Affairs to service providers. Furthermore, the wallet software sends warnings regarding financial fraud and erroneous information in various formats. The app, which has over 40 million users, is intended to aid in combating the problem by raising awareness of ongoing internet scams and fake news. As a result, people are better positioned to prevent themselves from becoming victims while minimising overall losses.
During the Metro Manila Council (MMC) session at the new Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) office in Pasig City, mayors across Metro Manila authorised the deployment of the single ticketing system.
The mayors established the Metro Manila Traffic Code (MMTC) of 2023, which enables interconnectivity among government entities involved in transportation and traffic management in the metropolis with standardised fines and punishments.
According to MMDA acting chair Romando Artes in a news release, the unified ticketing system will be convenient for captured motorists because they can pay for their traffic-related offences anywhere, regardless of the city where they were detained. The standardised fines and penalties will also be recommended for implementation by the Land Transportation Office and local governments.
“This is a historic time for all of us because Metro Manila is finally adopting the single ticketing system that will greatly benefit our motorists after more than twenty years,” he remarked. “The single ticketing system would assist in eliminating confusion among our drivers, as would the option to pay their fines electronically. During an arrest, the driver’s licence will not be confiscated.”
The MMTC also has provisions for interconnectivity with the LTO’s Land Transportation Management System (LTMS). During the discussion, it was also agreed that the MMDA would give monies to acquire the hardware and information technology requirements needed for the LGU’s integration with the LTMS to be implemented seamlessly and simultaneously.
According to MMDA Resolution No. 23-02, the single ticketing system will unify existing national and local traffic rules to achieve effective transport and traffic management in Metro Manila. Aside from that, the LGUs will adopt measures establishing standardised sanctions for identified common traffic violations and a separate ordinance for traffic-related offences not covered by the traffic code.
Its acceptance and adoption will also address various apprehension methods; payment of penalties; redemption of licences and plates; and uncoordinated application of traffic regulations, which results in uncertainty for the driving public, loss of money, and productive hours. Francis Zamora, President of the MMC and Mayor of San Juan City, stated that the single ticketing system would go into force in the first quarter of 2023.
“To incorporate the single ticketing system, the Metro Manila LGUs (local government units) will have to enact their ordinances adopting the Metro Manila Traffic Code 2023 on or before March 15,” he said.
The Metro Manila Traffic Code of 2023, which would serve as the system’s framework, lists the following as the most common traffic infringement penalties that will be administered equally in all Metro Manila local government units: Disregarding traffic signs, Illegal parking (attended and unattended), Number coding UVVRP, Truck ban, Light truck ban, Reckless Driving, Unregistered motor vehicle, Driving without license, Tricycle ban, Obstruction, Dress code for motorcycle, Overloading, Defective motorcycle accessories, Unauthorised modification, Arrogance/Discourteous conduct (driver), Loading and Unloading in Prohibited Zones, Illegal counterflow, Over speeding.
Seat Belts Use Act of 1999, Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act, Mandatory Use of Motorcycle Helmet Act, Children’s Safety on Motorcycle Act, Anti-Distracted Driving Act, Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act
Before this, the Philippines National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) strengthened its digital transformation service with the SAFE NCRPO APP Alert to encourage a more effective and rapid approach to reporting a crime.
The smartphone application can be utilised with a finger touch to quickly communicate an alert to the nearest police officers patrolling in their jurisdiction. The app connects to an alert service controlled by the NCRPO’s Tactical Operation Centres (TOCs). The programme will deliver alerts via a short messaging system (SMS) if no mobile network coverage is identified.
On the same occasion, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. remarked that using the app would help the NCRPO improve its response, mainly because criminals had also adopted the technology.
SINGAPORE – February 2, 2023 – Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has collaborated with National Geographic CreativeWorks to unveil UNSEEN/SINGAPORE, a campaign that showcases Singapore as a travel destination from the perspective of intrepid photographers from Southeast Asia. Through photography, the campaign includes a virtual exhibition which encourages travellers to explore the city-state’s cultural diversity and hidden spots, by taking a moment to observe the unseen beauty of destination Singapore.
Running from 2 February 2023, UNSEEN/SINGAPORE will showcase a collection of photographic works through a virtual exhibition, captured and curated by six photographers from across Southeast Asia. UNSEEN/SINGAPORE features the works of:
- Amani Azlin from Malaysia
- Tino Renato from Indonesia
- Chanipol Kusolcharttum, better known as “Rockkhound”, from Thailand
- Phạm Gia Tùng from Vietnam
- Gab Mejia from the Philippines
- Jayaprakash Bojan from Singapore
In curating the UNSEEN/SINGAPORE collection, each photographer visited Singapore in mid-2022, covering areas in Singapore that showcase nature, heritage buildings, cultural sites, and art. Each presented their vision of an UNSEEN/SINGAPORE through ways that resonate with their passions and personal experiences.
The photographers ventured across Singapore, going beyond its famous attractions and iconic skyline, to discover spots equally captivating – from charming neighbourhoods to lush and thriving offshore wetlands and a lighthouse at the island’s edge.
“We aim to inspire travellers to Singapore to rediscover the joy of travel once again. One way is to portray our destination in a different light, by helping visitors to see it afresh through another person’s eyes. UNSEEN/SINGAPORE set out to do this, through the lens of talented photographers from Southeast Asia, who tell their journey of discovery through photography. We hope they will inspire a new wave of visitors to discover a Singapore reimagined,” said Mr John Conceicao, Executive Director, Southeast Asia, STB.
“If you want to experience a country, you have to go down a layer below into the more local stuff to get a feel of what the country is. For people who’ve already visited Singapore, they should try and look for some of the unorthodox locations which they probably missed in their previous visits because
there’s a lot more to Singapore with the culture and heritage,” shared Jayaprakash Bojan, a full-time photographer and documentary filmmaker who advocates conservation via visuals and participated in the campaign.
UNSEEN/SINGAPORE is part of STB’s efforts to boost travel recovery through SingapoReimagine, a tourism campaign that highlights new, innovative and unexpected experiences in Singapore to audiences worldwide.
Between January to December 2022, Singapore recorded 6.3 million international visitor arrivals. Visitor arrivals were driven by strong demand from Singapore’s key source markets, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.
Get to know the photographers
Amani Azlin from Malaysia
Amani is a multi-disciplinary visual artist who expresses her passion for minimalism through her work for various local brands. When Amani is taking pictures, she goes in with her camera and doesn’t give it too much thought. It’s all about taking pictures in the moment and only scrutinising them afterwards. For her, it’s about capturing candid, unscripted moments in daily life, even when she’s travelling in a different country. As the only female photographer in the group, she offers a fresh take on travelling to must-visit sites with her passion for slow travel rather than touch-and-go experiences.
Jayaprakash Bojan from Singapore
Jayaprakash Bojan was National Geographic’s Nature Photographer of the Year 2017. He is a nature-wildlife conservation artist whose work focuses on wildlife photography abroad. As someone who has lived in Singapore for around 7 years, the pandemic has pushed him to explore his own neighbourhood (particularly Pasir Ris Park) rather than places abroad. With this project, Jayaprakash rediscovers his home, Singapore, from a different perspective.
Tino Renato from Indonesia
A self-taught travel, food, portrait and still life photographer, Tino started his journey when he was younger, starting out with a film camera, and it remains his favourite medium for taking his pictures. For him, it’s all about capturing the raw moments of a place and its people and making them the focus of his pictures. It is what makes his photos appear simple while adding depth to the story as we can witness in the UNSEEN/SINGAPORE project.
Chanipol Kusolcharttum, also known as “Rockkhound”, from Thailand
After a few years of working as an air steward and travelling the world, Rockkhound decided to pursue and kickstart his passion for photography as a career, enabling him to continue exploring the world. The photographer-cinematographer from Bangkok started his photography journey about 10 years ago on Instagram while embracing the philosophy of slowing down to truly live in the moment and enjoy the scenery all around him when he is out and about. His style is to deliver motion and emotion, such as looking for an interesting composition to give some movement to still architecture in Singapore. He runs a production company in Bangkok, holds workshops and shares photo and filmmaking tips on his YouTube channel.
Phạm Gia Tùng from Vietnam
Tùng enjoys the photographic process – from scouting a location to finding new angles and setting up his shots, no matter how long it takes. The Hanoi-based photographer focuses on taking photos from angles people rarely consider, and constantly learning ways to improve his photography. Even though he has visited Singapore many times before, this project gave him the opportunity to appreciate and capture Singapore’s nature and people differently.
Gab Mejia from the Philippines
Gab is a National Geographic explorer and is passionate about wildlife photography and conservation. In 2021, he was awarded the World Wildlife Fund For Nature International President’s Youth Award and was also listed on the 2021 Forbes Under 30 List for The Arts in Asia for photography. His story started when his dad took him mountain climbing, sparking his interest in the natural world and the stories he could discover and capture behind it. His vision for this project is to show a different side of Singapore, capturing moments of the wild and pockets of nature.
UNSEEN/SINGAPORE will be open to the public on www.nationalgeographic.com/unseensingapore from 2 February 2023 inviting visitors to reimagine Singapore. The virtual exhibition will showcase each photographer’s ‘room’ based on their thematic-led collections. Viewers will be able to virtually visit many parts of Singapore including locations such as the Sim Kwong Ho shophouses, Pulau Ubin, Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle, Jurong Lake Gardens, Changi Chapel and Museum, and more.
To view the UNSEEN/SINGAPORE virtual exhibition, visit
To watch behind-the-scenes of UNSEEN/SINGAPORE, visit www.facebook.com/VisitSingaporeMY.
Singapore’s Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations, S Iswaran, and the European Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, signed the EU-Singapore Digital Partnership (EUSDP), a comprehensive framework for all areas of bilateral digital cooperation between the EU and Singapore.
The partnership covers various aspects of the cross-border digital economy, including digital trade facilitation, secure data transfers, electronic payments, and standards and compliance. It also addresses cutting-edge areas like artificial intelligence (AI), digital identities, and 5G/6G. The partnership aims to enhance broader participation in the digital economy by collaborating on digital skills training for employees and the digitisation of businesses and public services.
The EU-Singapore Digital Trade Principles, the first outcome of the EU-Singapore Digital Partnership, were signed by Iswaran, as stated in a press release. This marks the beginning of a legally binding digital trade agreement between the two sides. The principles facilitate cross-border data transfers, reduce costs through electronic trade documentation and authentication, and enhance online consumer protection for people buying goods and services online.
Minister Iswaran and Commissioner Breton agreed to exchange best practices and/or develop projects in AI governance and standards and digital identities. The two sides will facilitate cross-border digital transactions and support SMEs’ digital transformation and digital skills. They also said they anticipate more joint projects between Singapore and the EU, including the EU Member States, in partnership with the private sector.
Iswaran stated that the EU-Singapore Digital Partnership strengthens connectivity and interoperability between the digital markets of the EU and Singapore. It will enable Singapore citizens and businesses to transact digitally more seamlessly and at lower costs. As a first deliverable, the officials launched a set of Digital Trade Principles, marking the first step towards a bilateral digital trade agreement that provides legal certainty for cross-border digital trade.
Digital infrastructure, such as data centres and submarine telecom cables, plays a crucial role in enabling cross-border connectivity between countries and regions. To create a secure, resilient, and sustainable digital environment for individuals and businesses, both sides will work together to promote digital infrastructure.
Furthermore, to support trusted cross-border data flows and data sharing, Singapore and the EU will work on the application of model data protection contracts and provide guidance for their use. They will also exchange information on the infrastructure and governance frameworks needed to facilitate data sharing.
The two sides will also cooperate on information sharing in platform governance and regulation. To drive the development and uptake of 5G and beyond 5G technologies, they will research use cases and possible areas of collaboration on R&D pilots. To support the deployment of AI, Singapore and the EU will encourage interoperability on AI governance, standards, and testing frameworks. Both sides will also explore cooperation on AI testbeds and research collaboration on AI.
Singapore and the EU have a strong economic partnership, built on the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA), which came into effect in November 2019. The EU is Singapore’s fourth largest goods trading partner globally, with bilateral trade in goods totalling SG$ 102 billion (US$ 78.1 billion) in 2021, which accounted for 8.8% of Singapore’s total goods trade. The EU is also Singapore’s second-largest services trade partner globally, with bilateral trade in services exceeding SG$ 67 billion (US$ 51.3 billion). Investment relations are strong, with the EU being Singapore’s second-largest foreign investor and largest overseas investment destination.