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 then-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).

The DEA will upgrade the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) through a new Digital Economy chapter, which will provide modernised rules that will reduce trade barriers. These include:

  • Preventing unnecessary restrictions on the transfer and location of data
  • Improving protections for source code
  • New commitments on e-invoicing and e-payment frameworks
  • Enhancing business and consumer trust in digital trade
  • Cooperating in creating a safe online environment to protect citizens
  • A new commitment to improve the accessibility of publicly available, anonymised government information; and
  • Enhancing transparency between Australia and Singapore to make available measures related to the digital economy.

As part of the DEA, Australia and Singapore have signed a series of agency-level Memoranda of Understanding on areas including data innovation, artificial intelligence, e-invoicing, e-certification for agricultural exports and imports, trade facilitation, personal data protection, and digital identity.

Building on Australia’s relationship with Singapore as our largest trade and investment partner in ASEAN, this agreement will lead the way internationally in the digital economy.

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Sounds Australia