Last reviewed 20 June 2022

We reported in December 2021 that the International Trade Secretary had confirmed that she had reached agreement in principle with Singapore on a significant digital trade deal (see World’s most comprehensive digital trade deal agreed with Singapore).

That agreement has now entered into force, with benefits including a commitment to open and inclusive digital markets, strong standards on data protection, zero customs duties on e-transmission of documents, provisions on cyber security and online safety and strong standards on data protection. 

The news was welcomed by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) with Head of Trade Policy, William Bain, describing it as a great boost for trade in both goods and services with the growing Singapore market.

“It has the potential to set the standard and could be a beacon for other nations looking to establish advanced digital trade terms with the UK,” he went on, calling on the Government to work closely with the Chamber Network over the coming months to ensure that smaller firms are able to extract the widest possible benefits from the agreement.

Given the focus on using modern systems, free flows of data, strong provisions on FinTech and LawTech, cyber-security, electronic invoicing and payments, Mr Bain said, the UK should see increased exports to Singapore alongside lower costs and waiting times for goods to reach customers there.

“We hope it will also encourage other countries to embrace open, fair and digital trade as a means of boosting prosperity, productivity and wage growth through greater exports in goods and cutting-edge services,” he concluded.