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ECONOMY, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Singapore and New Zealand tie up to strengthen trade and digital economy

The ANZSCEP deal was also updated in line with the current free trade agreements.

The Singapore government has signed a series of agreements with New Zealand which focuses on enhancing existing trade ties and forging a new partnership to strengthen cybersecurity cooperation.

The two nations upgraded the Agreement between New Zealand and Singapore on a Closer Economic Partnership (ANZSCEP), signed by minister-in-charge of trade relations S Iswaran and New Zealand’s minister of state for trade and export Growth Hon Damien O’Connor.

The upgraded ANZSCEP builds upon the original deal by improving the trade rules in line with updated free trade agreements. It is said to incorporate some of the trade facilitative rules of origin amongst Singapore’s free trade agreements and the shortest release times for goods and expedited shipments.

It also includes two new chapters on e-commerce and regulatory cooperation.

In addition, the government also launched trilateral talks with New Zealand and Chile on the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA), which is said to set forward-looking standards on digital trade, and establish new international approaches to support the digital economy and trade in the digital era.

DEPA aims to address emerging issues that may impact the digital economy, such as governance for artificial intelligence, e-payments, e-invoicing and digital identities. The talks would set standards and provide a benchmark for international trade rules that could benefit businesses and support SMEs’ digitalisation and internationalisation efforts.

Another deal involves the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) and the National Cyber Policy Office (NCPO) of New Zealand, which aims to undertake cybersecurity cooperation in key areas including regular information exchange on cybersecurity incidents and threats and sharing of best practices on the protection of critical information infrastructure and cyber ecosystem development.

Both countries will also conduct cybersecurity exercises and collaborate on capacity building activities in the region.

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