To build digital trust economies in Asia and Europe, Singapore-based tech industry trade association SGTech has committed to a long-term collaboration with two of its Swiss counterparts.

SGTech signed a Memorandum-of-Understanding (MOU) with digitalswitzerland and the Swiss Digital Initiative (SDI) in early March 2023, to promote collaboration and dialogue between the three parties as well as accelerate impactful tech initiatives, especially in the area of Digital Trust.

Digital trust ecosystems are systems of interconnected technologies and processes that allow for the secure sharing of data and information. They are essential for enabling everything from online banking to telemedicine to the Internet of Things.

Recent research commissioned by Callsign and conducted by Cebr, an independent economics and business research consultancy theorises that a modest increase in digital trust can have a significant impact on a country’s gross domestic product (GDP). According to Cebr, a 5 per cent point increase in digital trust could equate to an average USD3,000 increase in GDP per capita.

A first-of-its-kind partnership between Singapore and Switzerland’s leading tech industry Associations, the MOU aligns with current national level efforts to work towards greater innovation and sustainability in the sector.

Said SGTech Executive Director, Yean Cheong: “Switzerland and Singapore are often compared as small states known for their economic strength and spirit of openness and innovation. This MOU is another example of our shared commitment towards driving digital transformation with trust at the heart of it.”

She added that SGTech’s more than 1,000 member companies look forward to strengthening the partnership with the respective Swiss organisations to benefit the digital economies of both countries.

Under the MOU, the three organisations will partner under three themes, namely connection, knowledge exchange and trust. The tech organisations will promote mutually beneficial bilateral connections by facilitating industry-to-industry partnerships between their respective tech ecosystems. This will be done through reciprocal invitations to relevant G2B and B2B engagements and public events, such as digitalswitzerland’s annual #herHACK female-led hackathon events and SGTech’s annual Global Future Series conference.

In addition, the organisations will work together to build and share information in areas like digital trust, diversity and inclusion in tech, and tech sustainability.

SGTech and SDI will also collaborate closely to explore the possibility of extending and applying SDI's "Digital Trust Label" in Singapore and other Asia-Pacific markets. The Digital Trust Label is a way to denote the trustworthiness of a digital service in clear language which can be easily understood by everyone. This label can help to assure consumers of the trustworthiness of the digital services they consume.

“Putting together SDI and SGTech synergies is the first step towards a global movement for digital trust,” said Swiss Digital Initiative Managing Director, Fathi Derder.

To date, 14 companies have embarked on the Digital Trust Label process, and nine digital services have successfully been awarded the Label which is now available globally, promoting digital trust from Switzerland to the world. SGTech and SDI will also be working together to help Singapore enterprises adopt the label in the near future.

“By establishing closer connections and fostering greater knowledge exchange between both countries' digital ecosystems, the partnership has the potential to drive meaningful impact and bring lasting benefits to our societies,” said digitalswitzerland Managing Director, Stefan Metzger.

“By leveraging each other's strengths, expertise, and experiences, we can accelerate our digital transformation efforts and create new opportunities for innovation and growth.”

Naveen K. is a freelance writer