A new global trade deal will boost exports to Asian markets by billions of pounds every year, it has been announced.

It comes after the UK and Singapore signed the Digital Economy Agreement – described as the “world’s most comprehensive” digital trade deal.

Here’s what you need to know.

New agreement to take partnership to “next level”

According to the latest statistics, UK-Singapore trade was worth an estimated £16 billion in 2020, with a third of all exports – such as finance, advertising, and engineering – already digitally delivered.

But the new agreement will take the partnership “to the next level” by overhauling outdated trade rules that affect both goods and services exporters.

“Time-consuming” and “costly” paperwork, for example, will be replaced with e-signatures, e-contracts, and electronic invoicing, streamlining existing “cumbersome” border processes.

The new rules will also make it easier for UK businesses – particularly those in the professional services, financial, and telecoms industries – to target new opportunities in both Singapore and other lucrative Asian markets, boosting exports by billions of pounds every year.

First digital trade deal “ever signed by a European nation”

Commenting on the agreement, International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “This cutting-edge agreement with Singapore links two of the world’s most dynamic hi-tech hubs and plays to our strengths as pioneers in digital trade. Negotiated in just six months, it is the first digital trade deal ever signed by a European nation and will slash red tape, cut costs and support well-paid jobs across the whole UK.

“Digital trade is creating a new global economy, but it is still largely governed by old-fashioned rules that pre-date the digital revolution of the past 20 years. We’re using our independent trade policy to strike ground-breaking agreements that update these rules for the digital age and connect UK businesses to the biggest and fastest growing markets in the world.”

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Posted in Blog.