Singapore and Australia ink digital economy agreement

Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing and Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham signed the agreement via videoconference today. (Photo: MTI/MCI/IMDA) 

Singapore has signed a digital economy agreement with Australia, its second after another with Chile and New Zealand in June.

Called Singapore-Australia Digital Economy Agreement (SADEA), the pact is aimed at creating a seamless digital trading environment during this COVID-19 pandemic.

It will enable trusted cross-border data flows without unnecessary and costly requirements such as data localisation, while protecting consumers’ privacy and businesses’ proprietary information.

Singapore and Australia agencies will identify specific projects under the seven Memoranda of Understanding signed this March that will create opportunities for businesses. Such initiatives include 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 will facilitate digitalisation of trade processes and make it easier and more cost effective for Singapore companies to engage in cross border business activities with Australia,” said Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry of Singapore.

“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,” he added.