At the recent 8th UK-Singapore Financial Dialogue held in London, the United Kingdom and Singapore underscored their commitment towards enhancing collaborative efforts.
The Dialogue acted as a fertile ground for productive discussions and allowed for the identification of numerous opportunities for expanding cooperation on shared projects, focusing particularly on sustainable finance and FinTech innovation.
Discussions around sustainable finance brought to light the urgent requirement for developing strategies that enable and augment financing to aid the transition of economies to net-zero emissions. The UK and Singapore recognised the global need for transparent and comparable transition plans, a step towards sustainability in finance, with updates provided on Singapore’s efforts to scale blended finance and address energy transition needs in Asia, and the UK’s work on their Transition Plan Taskforce.
The UK and Singapore also confirmed their ongoing support for a global framework of sustainability disclosures based on the International Sustainability Standards Board’s (ISSB) final standards. The commitment to implement globally interoperable sustainability disclosures was unanimous, recognising that such a framework would facilitate a simpler and more effective regulatory environment. The two countries agreed to bolster the ISSB’s implementation of the standards, through sharing experiences and supporting capacity-building initiatives.
Furthermore, both countries reaffirmed the importance of gaining a deeper understanding of the loss of nature and biodiversity, and its subsequent impact on the finance sector. Collaborative research projects involving the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and the Singapore Green Finance Centre, among others, were welcomed.
The Dialogue was also enriched with discussions about the latest developments in the digital space. The UK and Singapore committed to the development of global regulatory standards for crypto and digital assets. The countries also held a fruitful discussion on their respective approaches towards Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC), with the UK detailing its plans for the “Digital Pound” and Singapore exploring use cases for a digital Singapore Dollar.
Significant progress was noted in the development of the private-public sector collaborative initiative called Project Guardian, initiated by Singapore. The project aims to test the feasibility and potential of asset tokenisation. The successful review of e-wallet caps by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) was also discussed.
The cross-border arrangements between the UK and Singapore, aimed at facilitating the exchange of information related to derivatives trading venues, were updated. Both countries recognised the continued value of their cooperation, in support of the G20 OTC derivatives reforms.
Concluding the Dialogue, the UK and Singapore reaffirmed their intention to further their partnership beyond the Dialogue, with further collaboration planned on Sustainable Finance and FinTech and Innovation before their next meeting scheduled to be held in Singapore in 2024.
An industry-led UK-Singapore business roundtable on sustainable finance was also held on 25 July 2023, with industry participants deliberating on the opportunities and challenges in meeting net-zero targets.
The Dialogue was co-chaired by Mr Leong Sing Chiong, Deputy Managing Director (Markets and Development) of MAS, and Ms Gwyneth Nurse, Director General (Financial Services) of HM Treasury (HMT). High-level officials from both the UK and Singapore, including representatives from MAS, HMT, the Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority, and the High Commission of the Republic of Singapore in London, and the British High Commission in Singapore attended the Dialogue.
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