Singapore, New Zealand digital economy pact to take effect on Jan 7

The pact with New Zealand was the first digital economy agreement that Singapore had concluded and signed.
The pact with New Zealand was the first digital economy agreement that Singapore had concluded and signed.PHOTO: PEXELS

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore's digital economy partnership agreement (DEPA) with New Zealand will enter into force on Jan 7 next year.

This follows the ratification of the agreement by both countries, said Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) in a press statement on Monday (Dec 28).

The pact with New Zealand was the first digital economy agreement that Singapore had concluded and signed. It inked the pact with New Zealand and Chile in June this year.

Singapore businesses can expect greater efficiency, increased trust and reduced costs or digital barriers when trading or conducting business digitally with their partners in Chile and New Zealand, with DEPA.

Canada has also recently said it is interested to begin exploratory discussions to join DEPA, and Singapore welcomes this, said MTI on Monday.

"We look forward to working with Canada and other like-minded partners on strengthening connectivity to create more opportunities in the digital economy," the ministry added.

DEPA establishes common rules in digital trade, and fosters cooperation on emerging issues in the digital economy.

This in turn promotes interoperability between the digital systems of different countries.

With its digital-economy agreements, Singapore aims to build on its extensive network of free-trade agreements and other digital cooperation initiatives.

Besides DEPA, the Republic has also concluded negotiations on another digital-economy agreement: the Singapore-Australia Digital Economy Agreement, which entered into force on Dec 8, 2020.

And this month, the UK and Singapore announced that they plan to launch talks early next year for a digital-economy deal, which is set to focus on key areas such as fintech, cybersecurity and the free flow of data across borders.

Singapore has also started negotiations with South Korea on a Korea-Singapore Digital Partnership Agreement.