Objective 1.1

Ease of movement of people, capital, services and data across borders

Action 1.1C

In progress

The Government will continue to promote and support regulatory cooperation frameworks for trade in financial services, including through free trade agreements and multilateral fora.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Government response
Related Action/s

Government continue to address international regulatory barriers to trade in financial services via multilateral and bilateral mechanisms including trade agreements and capacity building.


The Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement

To help ensure Australian businesses and consumers can continue to benefit from growing digital trade opportunities, on 6 August 2020, the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Simon Birmingham, and Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry, Chan Chun Sing, digitally signed the Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (DEA).

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APEC setting best-practice standards and regulations

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a Regional economic forum that aims to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth and by accelerating regional economic integration.

Australia is actively engaged in APEC. We lead and support initiatives that improve data and transparency, promote best-practice standards and regulation, and build capacity in the region.

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Progress to date

The Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement sets new global benchmarks for trade rules and a range of cooperation initiatives. Key outcomes included commitments on data flows, data localisation, electronic authentication, electronic signature and treatment of source code. It also established a framework for collaboration between FinTech and RegTech (regulatory technology) enterprises and industry bodies to explore business opportunities and develop standards.

The UK-Australia FinTech Bridge deepens collaboration between governments, regulators, and industry bodies and supports improved access for Australian FinTech firms to the UK market.

Singapore and Australia are seeking to negotiate a FinTech Bridge to deepen collaboration between governments, regulators, and industry bodies and support improved access for Australian FinTech firms to the Singapore market.

The APEC Financial Services: Increasing APEC’s FinTech and RegTech Capabilities Post-COVID-19 project report has been released. Australia worked on this project with other APEC countries to assist APEC economies with the adoption of regulatory best practice in the fintech and regtech sectors. The report recommends the region undertake regulatory changes to facilitate trade in digital finance and regulatory technology.