On 10 December 2020, the Department for International Trade issued a press release stating that the International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss MP, was in Singapore to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The press release added that the Secretary of State would also be travelling to Vietnam to conclude another rollover trade agreement.
The press release also adds that the FTA secures benefits for UK fintech firms in Singapore – Singapore has agreed to start a review in 2021 to consider an increase in the limits imposed on e-wallet payments, which affect UK firms operating in Singapore, as well as to discuss opportunities for UK firms to apply to become Digital Wholesale Banks in Singapore. This is in addition to additional customer services points permitted for UK retail banks already operating in Singapore, as part of this agreement.
The Secretary of State and her Singaporean counterpart, Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry, have also announced their intention to launch negotiations for a ground-breaking Digital Economy Agreement (DEA). This would be the first DEA that Singapore has struck with a European country. The press release states that this agreement would enable the UK to become a hub for digital trade with strong connections to Asia, cutting red tape for UK businesses and setting global standards in key areas such as cyber-security and emerging technology.