Foreign Brief | 7 January 2021
Singapore and New Zealand to enter digital trade agreement
by Sebastian Fernandez de Soto
The Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) between New Zealand, Singapore, and Chile will enter into force today.
The agreement, signed in June of last year, establishes a common set of rules on digital trade, removing digital barriers for businesses in each country. This is the second digital trade agreement signed by Singapore, following a similar agreement with Australia that entered into force on December 8 last year. This year’s deal strives to provide a common framework for trading in the information and technology sector. It provides lower operating costs by eliminating digital barriers and creates a common framework for personal data protection.
Singapore has been aiming to build on its network of digital cooperation agreements, opening exploratory talks with both the UK and South Korea on creating similar bilateral agreements. Small and medium-sized businesses stand to benefit from these agreements due to the lower costs of trade which will likely translate to lower prices for consumers. A successful operation will likely push more countries to create their own agreements with trade partners or join the DEPA. Expect substantial focus on the digital economy in the coming years as more of these agreements are signed.