In Summary: UK trade developments relevant to the region

In mid-December 2020 the Chamber received updates of the latest trade developments as they pertain to our members. In summary:

  • Signature of a UK-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
    • This ensures that UK business maintains enhanced access to Singapore, the UK's largest trading partner in ASEAN, safeguarding a gateway to one of the most important regions for the UK’s future trading status;
  • An announcement that the UK would start scoping the shape of a UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement with the aim of launching negotiations in spring 2021.
    • This makes the UK the first European country to start such negotiations. It is a real milestone with one of Asia-Pacific’s key tech hubs. Throughout this process, Government representatives will be keen to be guided by what business needs from the agreement to ensure it can fully exploit the considerable potential of the digital economy in the two countries and more broadly; and
  • Both Singapore and Vietnam were supportive of the UK's ambition to join the CPTPP, one of the most important and exciting free trade areas in the world.

The Department for International Trade and the British High Commission will work alongside the Chamber to provide ongoing updates to our members about what these developments mean for you and your business.