Q&A on DEPA
1. What is DEPA?
Digital Economy Partnership Agreement, DEPA for short, is a digital trade agreement signed by Singapore, New Zealand and Chile on June 12, 2020, aiming to strengthen digital trade cooperation and establish relevant norms between them. This is the world's first international agreement on digital economy and digital trade cooperation. On January 7, 2021, DEPA took effect between New Zealand and Singapore. Chile completed the parliamentary ratification process in August 2021, and its agreement officially entered into force on November 23.
2. Has China applied to join DEPA yet?
Yes, on November 1, 2021, the Chinese Minister of Commerce, on behalf of China, formally applied to New Zealand, the depositary of DEPA, to join DEPA.
3. How should the digital economy be defined?
The digital economy is a series of economic activities represented by artificial intelligence, big data, the Internet of Things, etc., with digital technology as the carrier, and industrial digitization, digital industrialization, and digitization of social governance as the main methods.
4. How are the core industries of the digital economy classified?
In May 2021, the National Bureau of Statistics released the "Statistical Analysis of the Digital Economy and Its Core Industries Class (2021)", which defines the scope of the digital industry as five categories: digital product manufacturing, digital product service, digital technology application, digital factordriven industry, and digital efficiency improvement industry. guidelines.
As for Digital industry manufacturing:
Calculator manufacturing, communication and radar equipment manufacturing, digital media equipment manufacturing, intelligent equipment manufacturing, electronic components and equipment manufacturing and other digital product manufacturing.
As for Digital product service industry:
Digital product wholesale, digital product retail, digital product leasing, digital product maintenance and other digital product service industries.
As for Digital technology application industry:
Software development, telecommunications, radio and television and satellite transmission services, Internet related services, information technology services and other digital technology applications.
As for Digital elements drive the industry:
Internet platforms, Internet wholesale and retail, Internet finance, digital content and media, information infrastructure construction, digital resources and property rights transactions, and other digital factor driven industries.
As for Digital Efficiency Improvement Industry:
Smart agriculture, smart manufacturing, smart transportation, smart logistics, digital finance, digital commerce, digital society, digital government and other digital efficiency improvement industries.
5. What is the specific content of DEPA?
DEPA consists of 16 modules, namely preliminary regulations and general definitions, business and trade facilitation
Profitability, handling of digital products and related issues, data issues, broad trust environment, business and consumer trust, digital identity, emerging trends and technologies, innovation and the digital economy, SME cooperation, digital inclusion, joint committees and focal points, Transparency, Dispute Resolution, Exceptions and Final Clauses.
Overall, DEPA focuses on e commerce facilitation, data transfer liberalization, and personal information security, and has made special provisions on cooperation in hot areas such as artificial intelligence and financial technology.
Compared with the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) e commerce rules, DEPA covers a wider range of content. DEPA has made the latest explorations on issues such as the openness of government data, electronic identity, and artificial intelligence. .
6. What are the characteristics of DEPA?
In short, DEPA is characterized by three aspects, comprehensiveness, flexibility and cutting edge.
"Comprehensiveness" is reflected in the content including sixteen modules.
"Flexibility" is reflected in the adoption of a unique "modular protocol". Participants do not need to agree to the entire contents of the sixteen modules covered by DEPA, and can select some of them for contracting. Countries applying for membership can choose several of these modules to join the agreement according to their own digital economy development level and interest requirements.
"Cutting edge" is reflected in that in addition to including the mainstream digital governance concepts of developed countries, special requirements have also been made in promoting the free flow of data, non discriminatory treatment of digital products, and non mandatory requirements for the location of computing facilities. Establish a regulatory framework for personal information protection, online consumer protection, AI ethics, and rights to protect the cross border data flow of enterprises, and build a balance between protecting consumer rights and maintaining enterprise competitiveness. It can be said that this agreement, which aims to promote an open, non discriminatory and improved globalized Internet environment, reflects the latest trends in modern trade policy.
7. What is the significance of China choosing to apply to join DEPA?
In 2020, the top three in terms of the scale of the digital economy are the United States, China and Germany, which belong to the three forces that dominate the current global digital economic and trade rules:
The first is the model advocated by the United States that supports the free flow of data and opposes the localization of servers and data; the second is the model represented by the European Union that emphasizes privacy, audio visual product exceptions, intellectual property rights and consumer protection; the third is a model based on The governance model represented by China emphasizes digital sovereignty. It can be seen that these three models have difficult to reconcile differences in many fields.
According to estimates by the Brookings Institution in the United States, crossborder flows of global data have driven global GDP growth more than trade and investment.At present, application innovation, technology research and development, e commerce consumption, and facility construction in China's digital economy are very active, and have become an indispensable part of the development of the global digital economy. According to data released by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, the scale of China's digital economy will reach 39.2 trillion in 2020, accounting for 38.6% of GDP, a year on year increase of 9.7%.
At present, China's choice to apply to join DEPA will obviously help to expand China's voice in global digital governance; it will help improve the governance level of China's digital economy and digital trade. Of course, it also conforms to the development trend of the global digital economy, which can promote China's gradual integration with international standards in the field of digital governance.