The Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement entered into force

The Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (DEA) represents a comprehensive framework for bilateral cooperation, and updates the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) through a new Digital Economy chapter. Some of the key issues tackled by DEA are: a) preventing unnecessary restrictions on the transfer and location of data, including in the financial sector; b) enhanced protections on the source code of computer programs; c) measures related to trade facilitation, such as harmonization of commitments on e-invoicing and e-payment frameworks; d) Measures related to business and consumer trust, such as improved enforcement and compliance provisions on online consumer protection, personal information protection, and spam, and e) commitment to improve the accessibility of publicly available, anonymised government information, for the purpose of economic, social and research benefit. Both parties also agreed to enhance collaboration on the development of key standards to support digital trade, in areas such as AI and IoT, and to collaborate on FinTech regulation and infrastructure deployment. The DEA is supported by seven Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) which facilitate practical cooperation initiatives on: data innovation, artificial intelligence (AI), e‑invoicing, e-certification for agricultural exports and imports, trade facilitation, personal data protection, and digital identity.