The new digital economy agreement with Singapore, a step in the right direction

June 14, 2022

Welcoming the Coming into force of the digital economy agreement, William Bain, head of trade policy at the BCC, said:

“It’s a big boost for trade in goods and services with the growing Singapore market. It has the potential to set the standard and could be a beacon for other nations seeking to establish Advanced digital business terms with the UK.

Jhe British government must now work closely with the Bedroom Network over the coming months to ensure small businesses are able to reap the maximum benefits from this agreement.

“If companies are properly engaged, we should see increased exports to Singapore as well as reduced costs and wait times for goods to reach customers there.

“In particular with a focus on the use of modern systems, free flow of data, strong provisions on FinTech and LawTech, cybersecurity, invoicing and electronic payments.

“We hope it’s okay too encourage other countries to embrace open, fair and digital trade as a means to boost prosperity, productivity and wage growth through increased exports of advanced goods and services.

BCC’s analysis suggests the deal will introduce a range of new technology provisions that will be UK or world firsts.

Among the positives are;

  • A commitment to open and inclusive digital markets
  • Provisions for duty-free digital content
  • No customs duties on the electronic transmission of documents.
  • Specific content for small and medium-sized businesses
  • Details on conformity assessment standards
  • Free flow of data – which is important for financial services, insurance, law and music.
  • Strict data protection standards.
  • Online consumer protection provisions – granting the same rights online as offline. Spam protection.
  • Provisions on cybersecurity and online security.
  • Cryptographic and source code protections.
  • Digital Commerce Systems – provisions to reduce red tape and modernize commerce systems.
  • Financial services – agreements on electronic payments, FinTech and information exchange.
  • Provisions on artificial intelligence and the responsible use of emerging technologies. Innovative cooperation on LawTech.
  • A UK-Singapore FinTech Bridge

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