04 Nov 2022

What is the new UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (DEA)?

A guest blog submitted by the Department for International Trade

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What is the new UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (DEA)?

The UK and Singapore have signed a ground-breaking digital trade deal which will strengthen our trading relationship. It covers digitised trade in services and goods across the whole economy. It came into force in June 2022 so UK businesses can benefit from it right now. The agreement isn’t just for tech companies. It’s for any UK business of any size across all sectors, that buys or sells goods or services that are supported by digital technologies. The DEA enables trusted cross-border data flows, the foundation for today’s modern global economy, helping to make trade between the UK and Singapore businesses easier, cheaper and faster than ever before. It will facilitate everything from more efficient manufacturing and supply chains to more reliable infrastructure.

What is digital trade and why is it important for UK businesses?

Digital trade is going to be a huge part of the future. The digital economy is made up of all the economic processes, transactions, and activities that are based on digital technologies. These technologies come in many forms like data flows and electronic signatures, or even services that are delivered exclusively digitally, such as content streaming or professional services like online tutoring. Using these digital ways of trading means UK businesses can remain competitive, grow and create jobs. The UK and Singapore are two of the most digitally advanced trading nations, so the DEA capitalises on the UK’s strengths as one of the world’s largest digital services exporters.

The key wins for UK businesses in the DEA are:

  • Saving time by digitising administration: technologies such as electronic contracts and electronic signatures help you to sign contracts more quickly, cut your paperwork, and provide you with greater transparency.
  • Saving money with no customs duties in place: you can import and export digital content to and from Singapore without facing tariff restrictions.
  • Being protected from unfair disclosure requirements: such as the forced transfer of source code or cryptographic information as a condition of entering the Singapore market. It also promotes more robust cybersecurity.

Find out more about the UK-Singapore DEA here.