The agreement seeks to promote interoperability between digital systems to encourage more seamless cross-border data flows as well as to develop an open and trustworthy digital environment for businesses.

Singapore and the European Union (EU) signed a digital trade agreement in February 2023 to allow consumers and businesses from Singapore and the EU to transact online more seamlessly. The EU-Singapore Digital Partnership (EUSDP) will see both jurisdictions collaborate on facilitating digital trade, electronic payments, digital identities, and 5G/6G communication networks, among others.

The EUSDP is one of several digital economic agreements (DEAs) that Singapore has signed. These DEAs are the world’s first “digital only” trade agreements, aimed at establishing digital collaboration between jurisdictions to maximize the economic benefits from the surge in online business activity, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are the key features of the EUSDP?

Digital trade

Singapore and the EU have agreed upon a set of digital trade principles, forming the basis for bilateral digital trade rules. The two jurisdictions aim to foster open, fair, and competitive digital markets, benefiting businesses and consumers through cost savings from digital trade.

The next phase involves developing pilot projects to digitalize trade administration, commercial documents, and e-invoicing. These projects are expected to promote greater efficiency, security, and transparency in trade processes, and will serve as a blueprint for other countries seeking to modernize their digital trade frameworks.

Digital connectivity

Singapore and the EU will establish key digital infrastructure, such as data centers and submarine telecommunication cables. Such infrastructure is vital for facilitating seamless cross-border connectivity.

5G and 6G technologies

Both jurisdictions will explore research and development initiatives for the uptake of 5G and technologies beyond 5G.

5G and 6G technologies

Both jurisdictions will explore research and development initiatives for the uptake of 5G and technologies beyond 5G.


The EUSDP aims to promote cooperation in the field of cybersecurity, particularly for cybersecurity certifications and standards.

Artificial intelligence

Singapore and the EU will identify opportunities to collaborate on artificial intelligence ethics and governance.

Supply chain resilience: Semiconductors

Both jurisdictions aim to explore collaboration for advanced research in semiconductors and exchange information that monitor semiconductor supply chains and anticipate disruptions.

Data flow

To facilitate and support trusted cross-border data sharing, Singapore and the EU will work on the application of model data protection contracts. Both jurisdictions will exchange information on the governance and infrastructure needed for cross-border data sharing. 

Digital transformation of SMEs

The EU and Singapore will cooperate on business matchmaking and support SMEs to leverage digital tools and adapt to digital trade.

Digital education and skills

Developing capability and capacity-building programs in digital education will enable Singaporean and EU citizens to benefit from the EUSDP.

Both jurisdictions will develop a cross-border talent network and a mentorship network for young entrepreneurs.

Digitalization of the financial sector

Singapore and the EU will exchange their best practices on digital finance developments. Further, both jurisdictions aim to develop projects to enhance the understanding of standards for the digital economy and its impact on the financial sector.

ASEAN Briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia and maintains offices throughout ASEAN, including in SingaporeHanoiHo Chi Minh City, and Da Nang in Vietnam

About the author

ASEAN Briefing features business news, regulatory updates and extensive data on ASEAN free trade, double tax agreements and foreign direct investment laws in the region. Covering all ASEAN members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam)

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