Singapore (CU)_ Singapore and the United Kingdom will collaborate more closely to promote digital trade between the two nations as part of a collaboration aimed at making digital transactions easier, safer, and more affordable for businesses. On Monday, the two countries signed three memorandum of understanding (MOUs) to strengthen their relationship.
According to a joint statement from Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information and the United Kingdom’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, the MOUs will improve the digital connection between the two countries. According to the government organizations, “In 2019, 70 per cent of UK cross-border services exports to Singapore were digitally delivered”. The value of these exports were £3.2 billion (S$5.85 billion).
They added the benefits of these MOUs. They said, “These MOUs will further support opportunities to grow digital delivery of cross-border services between the UK and Singapore, provide a basis for working closely with like-minded digital partners, and help set a global benchmark on high-standards digital cooperation to bring economic and societal benefits to both countries”.
Additionally, the MOUs will support the shared objectives and fundamental concepts of the UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement, which aims to foster trustworthy, strong, and connected digital marketplaces for individuals and enterprises. The agreement, which is now under negotiation, would define regulations that will allow for trustworthy cross-border data transfers while also ensuring strong data protection standards.
The MOUs were signed in London on Monday by Josephine Teo, Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information, and Nadine Dorries, the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport. Mrs Teo, the Minister-in-charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity, said, “Singapore has been working with like-minded countries to advance a global digital architecture that is open, inclusive, interoperable and secure.”
The first MOU establishes a framework for the nations to share information and collaborate on pilot projects in the fields such as electronic trade documentation and invoicing. The ministries stated that this will contribute to the development and acceptance of digital trade facilitation solutions on a bilateral and global level.
Singapore and the UK will collaborate more closely under the terms of the second MOU to establish mutual recognition of digital identities between the two governments. According to the ministries, the MOU is an essential step toward achieving interoperability of digital identification regimes across jurisdictions. This would enable more reliable identity verification and speedier application processing, among other benefits.
The third MOU will strengthen the current cybersecurity collaboration between the two countries. Additionally, it will also expand on governments’ current efforts to create a safe and strong cyberspace for companies and consumers.