Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing and Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham signed the Singapore-Australia Digital Economy Agreement (SADEA) electronically during a videoconference on 6 Aug. Singapore and Australia enjoy strong bilateral trade and investment flows and the SADEA builds on this foundation to enhance economic opportunities in the digital realm.
With the SADEA, Singapore and Australia aim to create a seamless digital trading environment which is crucial for businesses during this COVID-19 pandemic. It will also enable trusted cross-border data flows without unnecessary and costly requirements such as data localization, while protecting consumers’ privacy and businesses’ proprietary information.
In support of this, Singapore and Australian agencies will identify specific projects under the seven Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) signed in March this year, that will lead to tangible benefits and opportunities for businesses when implemented. These include initiatives such as the connection of National Single Windows; E-certification for import and export of goods; sharing and verification of electronic trade documents using distributed ledger technology; and cross-border data sharing projects.
The SADEA is the second Digital Economy Agreement that Singapore has signed, following the signing of the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) with Chile and New Zealand in June this year.
Minister Chan said: “The signing of the Singapore-Australia Digital Economy Agreement marks a milestone in the long-standing and multi-faceted partnership between our two countries. The SADEA will facilitate digitalization of trade processes and make it easier and more cost effective for Singapore companies to engage in cross border business activities with Australia.
“As COVID-19 forces businesses to consider innovative ways to reach customers and adapt to a new way of doing business, agreements like the SADEA will allow our companies to take advantage of opportunities in the digital economy and tap on new technologies to create new digital products and services.”