28 July 2023

On 27 June 2023, the Ministry of Communications and Information (“MCI”) issued a press release announcing that the UK and Singapore have signed two new agreements on data and emerging technologies which will help boost trade and security.

The Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) agreements were signed during UK Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden’s first international visit since his appointment last year, at his meeting with Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo. They were agreed between the UK Department for Science, Innovation and Technology and Singapore’s MCI and the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office.

The press release outlined the commitments under each MOU as follows:

MOU on Emerging Technologies

  • Sharing both countries’ experiences of building new telecommunications infrastructure, like 5G networks, to improve future connectivity as digital communications technology accelerates.
  • Promoting more business partnerships on artificial intelligence (“AI”).
  • Identifying “trustworthy” use of AI which can be replicated.
  • Aligning technical standards for use of AI.
  • New research between the UK National Health Service and Singapore’s National AI Office to understand how AI can improve health services and support for patients.

MOU on Data Cooperation

  • Increasing digital trade between UK and Singapore and learn from each other on how use of data is improving public services and government efficiency.
  • Establishing a new Strategic Intergovernmental Dialogue to discuss domestic data regulation, protection and international transfer of data.
  • Sharing research and experimentation on how using data can deliver better public services and economic growth.
  • Working to a new set of standards on publishing anonymised government datasets to improve global cooperation.
  • Sharing best practice on data management in government and between government and business.

The MOUs build on the UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement signed in February 2022, and the 2020 UK-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.

Reference materials

The press release can be found on the MCI website www.mci.gov.sg.