1. Singapore, Chile and New Zealand launched trilateral talks on the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) today, on the sidelines of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) Meeting in Viña del Mar, Chile, from 17 to 18 May 2019.
2. Digitalisation has transformed business models and trade. This has opened up unparalleled opportunities and choices for businesses and consumers if the challenges of fragmented digital frameworks, standards and systems can be addressed. The extent of cross-border interoperability will determine how far companies and citizens can realise the potential of trade in the digital economy.
3. The DEPA, initiated by Singapore, is an opportunity for Singapore, Chile and New Zealand to set forward-looking standards on digital trade, and establish new international approaches to support the digital economy and trade in the digital era.
4. Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing who announced the DEPA together with his Chile and New Zealand counterparts said, “Digital trade is a key source of our economic growth. Businesses that are able to navigate and tap on international markets in the new digital environment will have a competitive advantage. Singapore is a strong proponent of an integrated, global digital economy. We are glad to champion this new Agreement with Chile and New Zealand. It complements Singapore’s network of free trade agreements as well as our efforts as co-convenor of the World Trade Organization Joint Statement Initiative on E-Commerce to develop baseline digital trade rules.”
5. The DEPA aims to address emerging issues that impact the digital economy, such as governance for artificial intelligence, e-payments, e-invoicing and digital identities. It will set high standards, and provide a benchmark for international trade rules that benefit businesses and support SMEs’ digitalisation and internationalisation efforts. As a trilateral agreement, the DEPA will increase digital connectivity and strengthen economic ties between Singapore, Chile and New Zealand.
6. The DEPA is an inter-agency effort led by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Communications and Information and the Infocomm Media Development Authority. It also involves relevant agencies such as the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore.
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Jointly issued by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Communications and Information and Infocomm Media Development Authority
17 May 2019