UK, Singapore launch talks on digital trade agreement

·1 min read
British Union Jack flags are seen on the desks of Members of the Brexit Party during a debate on the last European summit, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain and Singapore will on Monday start negotiations on a new digital trade agreement that could remove barriers, part of London's push to become what it calls a "global tech powerhouse" post-Brexit.

Since completing its exit from the European Union at the end of last year, Britain has been pressing ahead with new trade deals especially with countries in the Indo-Pacific region, with the most recent agreement signed with Australia.

Digital trade is seen as key by the government to support British tech companies in capitalising on investment opportunities abroad to try to help a post-COVID recovery.

The government said any agreement with Singapore could remove barriers to digital trade and enable British exporters to expand into high-tech markets. The talks will be kicked off in a video call.

"A cutting-edge deal with Singapore will keep us at the forefront of the technological revolution, ensuring we lead the way in digitally delivered trade and industries like fintech and cybersecurity," British trade minister Liz Truss said.

"The UK will be the first European country to ever negotiate a Digital Economy Agreement, which shows what we can do as a sovereign trading nation," she said in a statement.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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