Under the first agreement, Singapore and the UK will share knowledge and the implementation of pilot projects to digitize commerce, such as electronic business documents and invoicing. These projects will contribute to the adoption of digital business solutions bilaterally and internationally, according to a statement from the Singaporean Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI).
Singapore and the UK aim to develop mutual recognition of digital identity verification regimes between the two under the second agreement. This could again reduce barriers to cross-border trade by speeding up identity verification and making it more reliable.
Under the third agreement, which builds on existing cybersecurity cooperation, the two countries will seek to collaborate in areas such as Internet of Things (IoT) security, promoting cyber resilience and Capacity Building. Both aim to create a “secure and resilient” cyberspace for businesses and consumers.
Nicholas Hanna of Pinsent Masons MPillay, the Singaporean lawyer joint venture between MPillay and Pinsent Masons, said: “Digital commerce is becoming more and more important than ever, as it is closely linked to the expansion of the global Internet. Not only is the world more interconnected than ever before, but the economy of doing business across borders has also pushed emerging economies to strengthen their digital capacities to maximize the opportunities offered by globalization. Collaboration with the UK will benefit both countries as it will create new openings and opportunities for both countries to carve out mutually beneficial roles in the global economy and accelerate growth between the two like-minded nations.
The agreements will support the common goals and key principles of the UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (UKDEA), which negotiations are underway and expected to be completed shortly. The two countries began negotiations on UKDEA in July, which is considered the first of its kind between an Asian country and a European country.