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EU and Singapore Sign Digital Partnership(Singapore, EU)

Feb 03, 2023.

Singapore's Minister for Trade S. Israwan and European Commission (EC) Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton signed the EU-Singapore Digital Partnership (EUSDP) on February 1. A substantive agreement on the EUSDP was announced in December 2022.

The EUSDP identifies the following priority areas for enhanced digital cooperation: (1) digital trade; (2) digital connectivity; (3) 5G (5th generation mobile communication systems) and Beyond 5G technologies; (4) data; (5) cybersecurity; (6) global supply chain for semiconductors; ( (7) artificial intelligence (AI); (8) online platforms; (9) trust services; (10) digitalization in the financial sector; (11) facilitating digital transformation of SMEs; (12) digital education and training areas, including digital skills for workers, ICT professionals and women; and (13) voluntary and mandatory standards and conformity assessment procedures (STRACAP).

Also, as a first outcome of the EUSDP, Trade Minister Iswaran and EC High Vice President and European Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrowskis signed the EU Singapore Digital Trade Principles. The Ministers confirmed their common recognition of the content of the Digital Trade Principles as an important instrument to ensure predictability and legal certainty for companies engaged in cross-border digital trade, to foster a safe and secure online environment and competitive marketplace, and to remove and prevent undue barriers to digital trade that have a detrimental impact on trade and investment flows. The meeting affirmed the content of the Digital Trade Principles as an important means to eliminate and prevent undue barriers to digital trade that harm trade and investment flows.

The Digital Trade Principles are broadly divided into (1) Digital Trade Facilitation, (2) Data Governance, (3) Consumer Confidence, (4) Business Confidence, and (5) Cooperation on Digital Trade. Of these, (1) digital trade facilitation covers paperless trade, single window, electronic trading framework and electronic contracts, electronic certification and signature, electronic invoices, electronic transferable records and information on freight forwarding, customs, and STRACAP; (2) data governance covers reliable and (2) Data Governance, which includes trustworthy and free data distribution, publicly available government data, (3) Consumer Trust, which includes online consumer protection, unsolicited commercial electronic messages, and online safety, (4) Business Trust, which includes open Internet access, cybersecurity, source code, and cryptography-based ICT (information and communications technology) products, and (5) Information Security, which includes the use of the Internet to provide information to consumers. ICT (information and communication technology) products, and AI are mentioned.

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