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Singapore: The Gateway for the UK Tech Companies in their Expansion into The Asia Pacific

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Technology companies based in the United Kingdom (UK) are eyeing Singapore as the gateway as they plan to expand into the Asia Pacific region and will leverage the UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (DEA) encompassing the digitized trade in services and goods to support and enhance regional growth.

Starting September 21 2022, a major delegation of 24 cutting-edge technology companies based in the UK and exploring growth opportunities in the Asia Pacific, spent a week in Singapore hosted by the British High Commission and interacted with Singapore Government agencies including the GovTech, Cyber Security Agency; Defense Science and Technology Agency; the Infocomm Media Development Authority and the Ministry of Law.

On visiting Singapore and engaging with Singapore government authorities, the UK tech companies initiated the UK-Singapore Digital Economy Dialogue for the first time to enhance the benefits of digital trade, strengthen technology partnerships at both the government and business levels, and ensure a balance between technological innovation and regulatory framework.

The British Government in an official statement reported that 24 British technology companies who intend to expand in the Asia-Pacific region and explore projects related to driverless vehicles, lawtech, cybersecurity, and deeptech were warmly welcomed by Singapore.

DEA, the first digital economy deal between two major digitized and advanced economies in the world acted as the springboard for the UK technology companies' expansion in the Asia Pacific. Digital trade between these two nations is presently worth over £17 billion per year. The UK tech companies visiting Singapore intend to use the DEA to support and promote their expansion into the Asia Pacific and explore opportunities for Singapore Company Incorporation.

Tech Nation, the leading growth platform in the UK for technology companies, also organized a delegation the same week and scheduled a programme of 90 meetings with investors and entrepreneurs.

“Singapore is a gateway to the rest of Southeast Asia, which has a digital economy projected to reach $1 trillion by 2030. The region has the demographics and openness that scaleups are looking for,” the UK Trade Commissioner for the Asia Pacific, Natalie Black highlighted.

She also said, “Our UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement will make the most of this opportunity – bringing together two high-tech nations in a living agreement that keeps up with the pace of digital innovation.”

Gabriel Lim, secretary of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, emphasized that this visit was an opportunity to help businesses, particularly startups and SMEs, “to seize new growth opportunities across our combined and growing digital markets.”

Lawtech deals with technologies that replace the conventional methods for legal services delivery or legal transactions by law firms or lawyers, presenting a bright spot for future business growth and ten UK-based lawtech firms visited Singapore to explore business opportunities in the Asia Pacific.

The UK-Singapore DEA is the first international trade agreement to include certain low-tech specifics. The British lawtech business is valued at £11.4 billion, as per data from Tech Nation research. The UK has traditionally remained the leader in law services and has the largest legal services market in Europe and second in the world just after the US.

The DEA focuses on helping law firms identify collaboration opportunities to exploit markets in the UK and Singapore as it brings two legal giants to the same podium with certain specific provisions that enhance electronic contracts and signatures; secure international data flows; and protection of vital proprietary data.

Businesses from both the UK and Singapore feel more confident as the DEA guarantees transparency in digital trading between the two countries. Funding for expansion in the Asia-Pacific will not be a problem for British technology companies and startups as many Single family offices in Singapore would be more than willing to invest in these companies.

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