UK agrees new post-Brexit deal with Singapore – Sunak hails ‘landmark step’

Brexit: David Frost on chances of financial services agreement

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Brexit Britain and Singapore have today sealed a new partnership for financial services, which aims to increase jobs, trade and investment. The Chancellor said the agreement would also help to increase trade with others countries in the region and improve collaboration on financial technology and green finance.

The new partnership is built on a memorandum of understanding between the UK Treasury and Singapore’s central bank.

The regulatory framework aims to ensure supervisory frameworks for the sector are compatible in both countries.

Mr Sunak reached the deal after talks with Singapore’s Senior Minister and Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

He said: “Our financial services industry helps to grow the economy and create jobs, and today’s agreement is a landmark step in showing the UK – as one of the world’s preeminent financial centres – is both open to the world and committed to maintaining the highest standards of regulation.

“Our financial partnership will help increase investment and trade with Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region and boost collaboration on important areas such as fintech and green finance.”

The move comes as the UK aims to open up new markets after leaving the European Union.

During the discussions, Mr Sunak and Mr Shanmugaratnam explored the importance of green finance and the development of carbon markets.

Innovative ways of utilising financial technology were also on the agenda, including new payment methods, such as e-wallets and digital financial services.

An additional memorandum of understanding on cybersecurity was also signed in order to improve the resilience of both nations’ financial systems.

Earlier this week, the UK and Singapore began negotiations on a new ambitious digital trade agreement.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and the Singaporean Minister in charge of Trade Relations started talks on a Digital Economy Agreement, which could tear down barriers and expand the technology market.

Singapore and the UK are both global leaders in the digital economy and 70 percent of UK services exports, were digitally delivered to Singapore in 2019, worth £3.2billion, according government figures.

International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss said the UK can become a “global hub for services and digital trade”.

She said: “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.

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“We are already the second largest services exporter in the world, with a huge comparative advantage in this area that we intend to capitalise on.

“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.

“We are becoming more flexible, more nimble and less defensive in our approach to trade. Our ambition is to make the UK a global hub for services and digital trade, by striking a series of advanced, high-standards agreements with leading nations across the world that drive productivity, jobs, and growth across the UK.”
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