Today, Chile, along with New Zealand and Singapore, closed negotiations of the first Association Agreement on the Digital Economy (DEPA), a pioneer agreement in the world. The ceremony was attended by Under-Secretary for International Economic Relations Rodrigo Yáñez, New Zealand's Minister for Trade David Parker and Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing.
DEPA was born out of the common interest of the three countries to benefit smaller economies by providing more opportunities for our citizens, especially SMEs. It seeks to establish a friendly framework for ICT companies, promoting their export of products and services through the regulation of fundamental pillars in terms of free flow of data and non-discrimination to digital products, artificial intelligence, digital identity, privacy, among other issues.
"Digital trade will be the engine of the world economy in the next decades and international economic relations must be up to the challenge. This agreement seeks to provide more opportunities to our entrepreneurs, supporting the existence of an open and global Internet without discrimination that acts as a catalyst for creativity and innovation," said Rodrigo Yáñez.
In this sense, the Undersecretary added that today there are new digital products that have become the objects of international trade, such as music, software, e-books, and video games that "must be strengthened by a regulatory framework that promotes their international expansion, so that anyone with a good business idea and an Internet connection can reach any part of the world."
Chilean ICT companies are found in sectors as diverse as website hosting, software licensing, information processing, Internet maintenance and repair, and application development, among others.
In 2018 alone, Chilean exports of ICT services totaled US$ 350 million, which were made through 204 Chilean companies, of which 118 are SMEs.
The first conversations about this agreement began at the end of 2018, on the margins of the APEC year launch, which took place in Santiago de Chile in December. The start of the negotiations was officially announced in May last year at the Ministerial Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade in Viña del Mar.