Singapore-NZ 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. PHOTO: PEXELS

Singapore's Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (Depa) with New Zealand will enter into force on Jan 7.

This follows the ratification of the pact by both countries, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) yesterday.

It is the first digital economy agreement that Singapore concluded and signed.

It was inked with New Zealand and Chile in June.

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.

Canada recently said it is interested to begin exploratory discussions to join Depa, a development that Singapore welcomes, said MTI.

"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 inter-operability between the digital systems of the different countries.

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

Besides Depa, the Republic has concluded negotiations on a digital economy agreement with Australia, which entered into force on Dec 8.

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

Singapore has also started negotiations with South Korea on forging a digital partnership agreement.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 29, 2020, with the headline Singapore-NZ digital economy pact to take effect on Jan 7. Subscribe