Joint Press Release by Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Communications and Information and Infocomm Media Development Authority

1. Singapore and the Republic of Korea (ROK) have concluded negotiations on the Korea-Singapore Digital Partnership Agreement (KSDPA). Second Minister for Trade and Industry Dr Tan See Leng and ROK’s Minister for Trade Yeo Han-Koo jointly announced this today at the Joint Ministerial Meeting in Singapore.

2. The KSDPA will be Singapore’s fourth Digital Economy Agreement (DEA)1, and the first with an Asian country. The agreement will deepen bilateral cooperation in the digital economy between both countries, by establishing forward looking digital trade rules and norms to promote interoperability between digital systems. This will enable more seamless cross-border data flows and build a trusted and secure digital environment for our businesses and consumers.

3. The KSDPA will prohibit data localisation except for specific purposes such as regulatory access. This allows businesses to transfer data securely as part of their daily business operations and allows businesses to choose where they may wish to store and process their data, according to their business needs. It will also deepen bilateral cooperation in new emerging areas like Personal Information Protection, E-payments, and Source Code protection. ROK and Singapore will also identify cross-border opportunities to facilitate Artificial Intelligence innovation and collaborations. The DEA will complement Singapore’s efforts to develop multilateral rules to create an enabling environment for e-commerce as co-convenor of the World Trade Organization Joint Statement Initiative on E-commerce.

4. Dr Tan See Leng said, “I welcome the conclusion of the Korea- Singapore Digital Partnership Agreement. It will strengthen the digital connectivity between Singapore and the Republic of Korea, and add to our already robust economic ties. By aligning standards, enabling trusted data flows and allowing cross border digital transactions to take place more seamlessly, the KSDPA will open up opportunities for our businesses and people in the rapidly growing digital economy.”

5. Singapore and ROK enjoy strong economic ties. Singapore was ROK’s 8th largest trade partner in 2020, with bilateral trade reaching S$44.6 billion. As of end-2019, Singapore was ROK’s 9th largest investor in Asia, with about S$8.37 billion worth of investments recorded in ROK. ROK was Singapore’s 6th largest source of investments in Asia, with a cumulative direct investment of S$23.7 billion.

6. The KSDPA is part of a series of DEAs that Singapore has embarked upon. These agreements are an inter-agency effort led by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Communications and Information, and the Infocomm Media Development Authority, to advance collaboration in the digital economy and enhance digital connectivity.

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1 The KSDPA follows the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement with Chile and New Zealand, the Singapore-Australia DEA, and the UK-Singapore DEA.

Annex A: Key Features of the Korea-Singapore Digital Partnership Agreement 
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