Minister for Communications and Information Mrs Josephine Teo is currently on a work trip to London, United Kingdom (UK) from 29 November to 3 December 2021. During the trip, she:
Forged new digital partnerships and advanced the opportunities of a global digital economy for our businesses with UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) through the signing of three MOUs; and
Participated in the invite-only Future Tech Forum, where she met with key government and industry leaders and joined the growing international consensus on the need for digital regulations, which Singapore advocates a balanced approach to.
Kicking off the first day in London on 29 November, Minister Teo signed three MOUs with Ms Nadine Dorries, Secretary of State for DCMS that will make digital transactions easier, safer and cheaper for businesses in Singapore and the UK (Pl refer to Annex A for the 29 Nov press release on the MOUs signed).
Minister Teo was also invited by her UK counterpart Secretary Dorries to attend the inaugural Future Tech Forum. The Forum gathered international participants including those from governments, industry and academia. Besides participating in a panel discussion with Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age Margrethe Vestager, Minister also engaged key government, industry and academic leaders such as Deputy Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen, Chair of Federal Trade Commission Lina Khan, University of Southampton’s Regius Professor Of Computer Science Dame Wendy Hall and Google/Alphabet’s President of Global Affairs Kent Walker, where they discussed appropriate regulation across emerging technologies and digital platforms.
On the significance of Singapore’s participation at the Forum, Minister Teo said: “As we navigate a constantly changing digital landscape, we should build trust for digital regulations and safeguard the well-being of our people. Participating in international platforms, such as the Future Tech Forum, gives Singapore the valuable opportunity to learn from and share about our experiences with digitally-advanced countries, particularly in areas like digital regulations and tech governance, as countries navigate the unchartered territory of the digital realm together. It also allows us to strengthen ties and advance our interests in the fast-growing digital economy, and the recent signing of the three MOUs with the UK at the side-lines of the Forum is an example of good progress made by Singapore on the digital front.
At the Forum, Minister Teo spoke at a panel discussion on 29 November on “How can Governance Frameworks keep pace with Technology?”. At the session, panellists had a clear consensus on the need for good tech governance and appropriate regulations, so as to build trust and support innovation in tech. Minister Teo outlined Singapore’s approach to technology governance that is anchored on safeguarding the well-being of its people. For businesses, Minister Teo shared that Singapore generally regulates with a light touch while providing clear rules and certainty and room for innovative ideas to thrive. (Pl refer to Annex B for Minister’s remarks at the panel session).
Minister Teo also participated in three closed-door Government-to-Government roundtables on Day 2 of the Forum on (i) “The Future of Trust: How can we rebalance public discourses to embrace data as a force for good?”; (ii) “The Future of the Internet: Trends and Opportunities”; and (iii) ““How can Governance Frameworks keep pace with Technology?”. At the roundtables, Minister Teo elaborated on the importance of trust as the bedrock of the Digital Economy and a Digital Government and outlined how Singapore works with stakeholders to build trust both locally as well as internationally. Minister Teo also shared about Singapore’s levers to deal with online falsehoods and misinformation.
At the conclusion of the Forum, Minister will be meeting with other UK government and industry partners to build and strengthen ties and advance our interests in creating economic vibrancy, protecting social stability and upholding security and resilience for our people and businesses in the digital domain. These engagements will include visits to organisations such as the National Cyber Security Centre Headquarter in London, trade association techUK, as well as meetings with Singaporean tech professionals based in the UK.
Annex A: Press release on MOUs signed between UK and Singapore (29 Nov)
Annex B: Key points from Minister’s remarks at panel session