28 August 2020

On 6 August 2020, Singapore and Australia signed the Singapore-Australia Digital Economy Agreement (“SADEA”) electronically during a videoconference. As SADEA facilitates digitalisation of trade processes and enables trusted cross-border data flows without unnecessary and costly requirements such as data localisation, while protecting consumers’ privacy and businesses’ proprietary information, Singapore companies will find it easier and more cost effective to engage in cross border business activities with Australia. Singapore companies may take advantage of opportunities in the digital economy and tap on new technologies to create new digital products and services.

With SADEA, Singapore and Australia aim to create a seamless digital trading environment which is crucial for businesses during this Covid-19 pandemic. Singapore and Australian agencies will identify specific projects under the seven Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) signed in March this year, that will lead to tangible benefits and opportunities for businesses when implemented. These include initiatives such as the connection of National Single Windows, e-certification for import and export of goods, sharing and verification of electronic trade documents using distributed ledger technology, and cross-border data sharing projects.

SADEA is the second Digital Economy Agreement that Singapore has signed, following the signing of the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) with Chile and New Zealand in June this year. Singapore has also launched negotiations with the Republic of Korea on a Korea-Singapore Digital Partnership Agreement (KSDPA). 

Reference materials

The media release about SADEA is available on the Ministry of Trade and Industry (“MTI”) website http://www.mti.gov.sg/ by clicking here.

For more about Digital Economy Agreements and Singapore’s progress so far, please click here to visit the relevant webpage on MTI’s website.