The European Union and Singapore have taken a major step in strengthening their digital partnership, with the signing of a bilateral agreement that aims to propel the countries into a digital-led economy. The EU-Singapore Digital Partnership was announced last December 2022 during the EU-ASEAN summit, by President von der Leyen of the European Union and Prime Minister Lee of Singapore.
To further solidify the partnership, Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market of the European Union and S. Iswaran, Minister of Industry and Trade in Singapore, signed the Digital Partnership. The partnership will not only establish the bilateral relationship between Europe and Singapore but it will also ensure the successful implementation of new technologies. It is based on the 2030 Digital Compass and will focus on creating a transformative, people-centric digital realm.
Alongside the partnership, the Digital Trade Principles were also signed by Iswaran and Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis of EU. The focus of these principles is to improve the free flow of goods in the digital economy while still prioritizing privacy.
The Digital Partnership aims to:
- Boost investments in submarine telecommunication channels and green data centers that are bankable and sustainable
- Collaborate on research studies involving new technologies such as semiconductors and AI
- Enhance interoperability in areas such as Electronic Identification (eID)
- Create standardized digital regulations and policies
- Protect cybersecurity through improved information exchange
- Expedite digital trade by backing digital payments and paperless trading through electronic frameworks
A Digital Partnership Council co-chaired by Iswaran and Breton was also held to keep the goals in check and see which are the priorities for 2023. The focus of the council will be on AI, eID, and helping SMEs adapt to new innovations.
In conclusion, the EU-Singapore Digital Partnership is a major step towards creating a digitally connected world where privacy and security are still protected. The partnership will drive innovation and improve the flow of goods and services in the digital economy, making it a win-win for both the European Union and Singapore.