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New Digital Agreement With Singapore And Chile A Good Foundation, Says Business Forum

Putting in place the right trade rules for the digital economy is vital for New Zealand business in the 21st century, said Stephen Jacobi, Executive Director of the New Zealand International Business Forum (NZIBF), commenting on the ‘virtual’ signature today of the new Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) by New Zealand, Singapore and Chile.

“We welcome the DEPA announcement and congratulate Minister Parker and his negotiating team on this latest example of trade leadership,” said Stephen Jacobi.

“E-commerce and other kinds of digital trade are a modern business reality. If we needed any convincing, the importance of the digital economy has been vividly underscored by COVID-19 and the ability of Kiwi businesses and organisations to pivot to online through the lockdown.

“For New Zealand exporters and small businesses, scale and distance to market have been longstanding challenges. The digital economy offers a fantastic opportunity to reach global customers far more easily, securely and at lower cost, whether you’re in the business of milk powder, smart medical equipment or cloud computing.

“DEPA sets the gold standard when it comes to many aspects of e-commerce. It also forges into frontier territory like artificial intelligence and digital identity. This new agreement will help to futureproof the business environment for New Zealand firms. We hope that many more partners in the Asia-Pacific and beyond will see its value, and sign up,” said Mr Jacobi.

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