Data Residency: The landmark Digital Economy Agreement between Singapore & Australia
The recent Digital Economy Agreement (DEA) between Singapore & Australia is set to upgrade the digital trade arrangements between Australia and Singapore significantly. Specific parts of the agreement deliver robust rules that allow businesses in the financial sector to transfer data across borders without the requirement to build data storage centres in either jurisdiction, thereby creating a new benchmark for improving safe consumer experiences online.
To put these proposed changes in perspective, there has been a trend in the recent past for countries to opt for data residency laws which require data about a nations' citizens or residents be collected, processed, and stored inside the country. Given this context, the recent Australia Singapore agreement is a welcome and significant initiative. In addition to enabling organisations, especially in the financial sector, the ability to operate seamlessly across two significant economies in the Asia Pacific region, the agreement also sets a strong precedent for other such arrangements globally. This allows the promise of seamless cloud computing to become a reality while ensuring adequate safety standards to protect the underlying data.
This is a big step forward for the digital transformation of the global economy. By 2022, 60% of global GDP is projected to be digitised, with the World Economic Forum predicting that some 60-70% of the new value will be from digitally enabled networks and platforms in the coming years. Additionally, given the impact of a global pandemic, there is clearly going to be an increasing use of digital services by consumers and enterprise customers in the coming months and years.
Such bilateral arrangements will set the foundation for this growth. For a financial institution present in Singapore & Australia, this helps reduce the setup cost as you do not need to have hardware in two locations and duplicate processes. It also helps alleviate data localisation costs as organizations can store data as per preference wherever they see best. The agreement will better enable businesses to capture and store data to drive business efficiencies and value, and ultimately move closer to a more holistic data driven cross border business.
The coming months are going to place a premium on agility, data led decisioning, and innovative ways to support customers rebuild their lives around an increasingly digital way of doing business. Bilateral agreements like the DEA help create a framework for agile and innovative services to forge ahead. The agreement is indicative of increased cross-border collaboration for the region. It’s a great testament that by working together, we’ll be able to further the innovation efforts across the industry and make consumers’ lives easier.
Regional MD for Decision Analytics and Business Information – APac
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By Mohan Jayaraman 04/07/2020