1. Minister for Communications and Information Mrs Josephine Teo represented Singapore at the G20 Digital Ministers’ Meeting in Trieste, Italy, from 5-6 August 2021. Singapore was invited by Italy, which holds the 2021 G20 Presidency, to participate in the meeting. 

2. The Ministers welcomed the elevation of the Digital Economy Task Force (DETF) into a permanent entity known as the Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG). The DEWG will strengthen the sharing of information and experience among the G20 member and guest countries, and is a welcome step to a more holistic and continuous discussion on digital issues. 

3. Minister Teo made three interventions1  to: 

i. Encourage innovation for smart cities and communities: In the session on “Society in the Digital Economy”, Minister Teo shared how Singapore has used digital innovations to benefit citizens and businesses. She cited the examples of contact-tracing mobile app TraceTogether, which is used to digitally record almost 10 million check-ins to premises across the country every day; and the GoBusiness portal, a one-stop digital platform to access over 300 Government e-services, which has helped start-up businesses cut data fields, by up to 90%.2   

ii. Promote connectivity, social inclusion and trusted cross-border data flows: In the session on “Enabling Digital Transformation”, Minister Teo shared that connectivity and data are key engines powering the digital economy, and a secure and resilient infrastructure is essential to provide high-quality and future-ready digital services for our people. 

To that end, Singapore has made consistent investments in building a robust and resilient digital and communications network. Singapore also seeks to promote data free flow with trust to build industry and consumer confidence, and make it easier for businesses to operate across borders. 

iii. Highlight the importance of a digital identity: In the session on “Digital Government”, Minister Teo spoke on the provision of a digital identity in the provision of government services. In an increasingly digital world, Minister shared that Singapore’s National Digital Identity or Singpass provides a convenient and secure way for Singaporeans to access over 1,400 digital services by more than 340 public and private-sector organisations. More than 4 million out of 5.7 million Singapore residents are on Singpass.  

4 Minister Teo also met with her counterparts from other countries and international organisations, including Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Rwanda, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on the sidelines of these meetings. These bilateral meetings reaffirmed Singapore’s digital cooperation with these parties and explored possible areas of collaboration of mutual interest. 

5. Building on our efforts to forge international partnerships on digital cooperation, Minister Teo also signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) on Digital Economy Cooperation with Italy and Rwanda. These MOUs will pave the way for our businesses to seek more opportunities in international partnerships, including in the areas of emerging technologies, digital government, cybersecurity and the digitalisation of SMEs.
 
Annex: Intervention scripts

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1  See Annex for intervention scripts.
2  Starting a food business used to require 14 forms with 845 data fields. Now, only one form is needed and the data fields are cut by up to 90%.