Australia, Singapore to deepen fintech collaboration

MAS and the Australia Treasury signed the agreement to strengthen the two countries' fintech ecosystems. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - To strengthen cooperation between the fintech ecosystems of Australia and Singapore, the Australia Treasury and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have signed the Australia-Singapore FinTech Bridge Agreement, said the two government bodies in a joint statement on Wednesday (April 13).

The FinTech Bridge aims to build on the overarching framework for digital economy cooperation under the Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement, which was signed in 2020, in order to deepen collaboration between the fintech ecosystems of both countries.

The start of discussions to develop the FinTech Bridge was announced in June last year, when Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison met with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The Australia-Singapore FinTech Bridge sets out a framework for both authorities to deepen bilateral and multilateral cooperation on fintech, so as to facilitate trade, investment and ecosystem development in the fintech sector.

The framework will also support the mutual establishment of fintech companies looking to expand in each other's markets, and encourage fintech companies to use the facilities and assistance available to explore new business opportunities and reduce barriers to entry.

It will also help both authorities build on current engagements to strengthen linkages between Australia and Singapore for policy officials, regulators and industry groups.

The framework also helps both authorities explore joint innovation projects on emerging issues in fintech to help the industry navigate through a constantly evolving space, to share information on emerging market trends and to learn from the experiences in each jurisdiction.

This includes collaboration in areas such as blockchain and distributed ledger technology, digital identities, cross-border data connectivity, data portability and the application of fintech to promote sustainable finance.

The Singapore fintech ecosystem is now home to about 1,400 fintech companies offering a wide range of solutions as well more than 40 innovation labs.

Equity funding for Singapore fintech companies grew to a five-year high of US$3.9 billion (S$5.3 billion) last year, according to the joint statement.

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