EFTA and Singapore seeking digital trade agreement
17 February 2023
The EFTA States and Singapore have opened negotiations on a digital trade agreement. A clear framework will aim to promote digital trade as a whole. The agreement should also provide a basis for cooperation in areas such as fintech.
The countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Singapore officially opened negotiations aimed at striking a digital trade agreement on February 16. Common goals were discussed during a virtual meeting, further details of which can be found in a press release issued by the Liechtenstein government. In addition to Liechtenstein, the EFTA states also include Switzerland, Iceland and Norway.
The planned agreement is intended to create a clear framework that promotes trade in goods and services using new technologies. The focus is on topics such as network security, signature services, electronic payment services and consumer protection. According to the press release, the agreement should also serve as a basis for cooperations in other areas of interest, with both fintech and the token economy highlighted in this context.
A free trade agreement between the EFTA states and Singapore already came into effect in 2003, which the new agreement is intended to supplement. According to EFTA data, total trade between the EFTA States and Singapore has grown exponentially over the past 20 years. In 2021, goods totaling 10 billion US dollars were traded overall. The most important imports into the EFTA countries were pharmaceutical products, while most exports to Singapore involved organic chemicals and watches. According to EFTA, trade in services and foreign direct investment between the partners “are likewise at a high level”.