The Australian Chamber of Commerce (Singapore) – is pleased to support the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in its forthcoming digital cooperation initiative to help unlock new opportunities to facilitate digital and cross-border trade between Australia and Singapore.
In October 2019, AustCham undertook a workshop to facilitate the gathering of ideas from members of AustCham’s Digital Economy Industry Group. The workshop welcomed 26 attendees from the Australian and Singaporean digital business communities and included special guests from DFAT and the Australian High Commission. Focus was provided by the DFAT brief outlining the timeline and objectives.
The core objective of the digital cooperation agreement is to foster practical cooperation between Australian & Singapore at both the Industry & Government level. The new agreement will be much more than a trade agreement; it will complement the already existing FTA’s and treaties between Australia and Singapore.
In total 7 key topics have been identified as priority areas:
1.DIGITAL TRADE FACILITATION
- Need to identify main outcomes for digital documentation, balancing cost, safety and speed.
- Understanding of beneficiaries and priorities. SMEs, Ports, Shipping, and Logistics Companies were identified by the group as the prime sectors currently affected.
2.CROSS BORDER DATA FLOWS
- Focus on key sectors should be included, Financial Services and Health were highlighted.
- Data Privacy Rules and Data Sovereignty Rules that currently inhibit flows of data hampering company’s expansion across borders need to be addressed.
3.CROSS BORDER PAYMENTS
- Removing the costs and other barriers to cross-border payments, include focus on costs of transfer, taxes and reciprocal acceptance of background checks.
- Talent movement and broader opening of visa options for start-ups are inhibiting expansion. Development of compliance reciprocity and compliance frameworks will remove barriers.
- Definition of common privacy principles are needed. Common standards for ethical use need to be agreed.
- Opportunity to build common individual and corporate digital identities that can be used across both countries.
7.DIGITAL STANDARDS AND RESEARCH COLLABORATION
- Development of common digital standards across key areas, including payments, crypto- currencies, Cyber-security and e-commerce.
- Development of partnerships with Academic Research and Standards Bodies.
- Focus on standards for privacy that will allow for the flow of data across borders
AustCham’s Digital Economy industry Group will be happy to engage further to contribute to any areas of opportunity as they arise throughout the negotiations. For more information on either the forthcoming digital cooperation initiative or the industry group, please get in touch with AustCham.