LONDON (Reuters) – Britain on Thursday said it had agreed to a digital trade deal with Singapore, the first digitally-focused trade pact signed by a European nation.
Britain said the agreement in principle would overhaul outdated trade rules and open up opportunities in Singapore, viewed as a global leader in digital.
“It is the first digital trade deal ever signed by a European nation and will slash red tape, cut costs and support well-paid jobs across the whole UK,” trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said.
Last month the UK’s Board of Trade said that a Digital Economy Agreement with Singapore would demonstrate the potential for digital trade rules to others in the World Trade Organization. A Digital Economy Agreement (DEA) is a treaty that establishes digital trade rules and digital economy collaborations between two or more economies. Through DEAs with key partners, Singapore hopes to develop international frameworks to foster interoperability of standards and systems and support our businesses, especially SMEs, engaging in digital trade and electronic commerce.
Britain said the trading relationship with Singapore was worth 16 billion pounds ($21 billion) in 2020.
“While we await further details on how these provisions will work for firms practically, we also look forward to seeing similar agreements announced in 2022 with our partners and friends across the world,” said City of London Corporation Policy Chair Catherine McGuinness.
($1 = 0.7582 pounds)
(Reporting by Alistair Smout, Editing by Paul Sandle)
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