techUK and SGTech begin international partnership to promote digital trade cooperation

techUK and SGTech sign Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) promoting dialogue on regulatory cooperation in digital and tech issues

techUK and SGTech, the tech industry associations in the UK and Singapore respectively, today announced a new cooperation agreement to facilitate industry-to-industry partnership between their tech ecosystems and foster commercial links in areas such as digital trade facilitation, cyber security, digital identities, AI, and emerging tech.

On 25 February 2022, the UK and Singaporean Governments signed Digital Economy Agreement (UKSDEA). The UKSDEA aims to promote seamless end-to-end digital trade between Asia and Europe through common and interoperable digital systems, ensuring high standards in data protection to enable trusted data flows, and facilitating a trusted and secure digital environment for both companies and consumers between the two hi-tech and services hubs.

Through the UKSDEA, the UK and Singapore will cooperate in promoting paperless trading and work together on new and emerging technologies. The trade deal is worth an estimated £9.4 billion according to Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs  Liz Truss.

Against this backdrop, the MOU is a firm commitment for techUK and SGTech to strengthen tech and digital partnership between both countries by focusing on joint activities that promote commercial opportunities in areas of mutual interest as well as allowing greater interaction through dialogue on regulatory cooperation in digital and tech issues.

techUK CEO Julian David and SGTech Executive Director Yean Cheong have met virtually this week to kick-off this bilateral cooperation. A roundtable session will follow in the coming months to discuss the key opportunities and concerns companies in the cybersecurity sector face.

Through this initiative, techUK is committed to supporting its members in broadening commercial networks in overseas markets and in driving dialogue on digital regulatory cooperation.

Julian David, techUK CEO, said:

“ techUK is delighted to formalise an agreement with SGTech to support the flourishing of tech ecosystems in both the UK and Singapore and create opportunities for innovative businesses in tech and digitalisation. Our cooperation under this MoU will complement UK’s first digital trade deal and strengthen bilateral cooperation on the key tenets detailed in the UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement.”

“We look forward to working with SGTech to drive regulatory cooperation on digital and tech issues and enhance industry exchanges in areas such as cyber security, digital trade facilitation and emerging tech between both countries.”

Yean Cheong, Executive Director of SGTech, said:

“We are pleased to ink this understanding with techUK, our first MOU with a partner outside of Asia. The UK has traditionally been a home to technological innovation and enterprise – both local start-ups as well as global companies – and we are excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from such industry players and leaders through techUK.”    

“Both SGTech and techUK have a shared mission to be strong industry pillars enabling greater digital transformation and tech innovation across companies such as innovative start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses”.

The partnership was welcomed by Government officials in both countries as a positive step forward to strengthen international industry connections in the digital economy post-Brexit.

Kara Owen, British High Commissioner to Singapore said:

“I am delighted that SGTech and techUK have formalised their partnership with a Memorandum of Understanding.  

 “The UK and Singapore are two of the most innovative economies in the world and deepening ties enables us to further unlock the talent, creativity and technical know-how of our peoples.

 “This partnership will encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing between our technology industries, complementing our first digital trade deal with Singapore.”

Natalie Black, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner to Asia Pacific said:

“The UK and Singapore have opened a new era of digital trade with the UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement, which we have now agreed in principle. 

“The agreement between leading technology membership organisations techUK and SGTech is a fantastic next step to further strengthen industry connections in the digital economy.

“It’s a great opportunity to deepen our cooperation in emerging technology, cyber security and digital standards, create new opportunities for businesses, and take our £16 billion trade relationship to the next level.”


If you would like to learn more about this partnership and stay up to date with our upcoming UK-Singapore engagements, please sign up for the UK-APAC Tech Forum.