Report Ranks G20 Economies’ Cross-Border Data Flows and Highlights Singapore’s Leadership in Open Data Transfer

Learn about Singapore’s prominent position and policy recommendations to maximize the benefits of open data transfers.

Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, has unveiled its highly anticipated Data Beyond Borders 3.0 report, which examines the state of cross-border data flows in G20 economies and highlights Singapore’s position as a frontrunner in embracing open data transfers. The report, while ranking the economies based on their ease of cross-border data flows, also provides valuable policy recommendations for countries to maximize the advantages of such data exchanges.

Singapore, recognized as a global hub for technological innovation, retained its remarkable third place in the overall ranking, trailing only behind Japan and the United Kingdom, a position it maintained since the previous report in 2021. This consistency reaffirms Singapore’s commitment to fostering an environment conducive to cross-border data flows. Notably, Indonesia showcased substantial progress among G20 economies, climbing from the 15th spot in 2021 to a commendable 13th place in the latest rankings.

The comprehensive analysis of the report underscores the steady advancements made by ASEAN economies in enabling cross-border data flows. Several key open data transfer policies have contributed to this progress:

Singapore, in its pursuit of a thriving digital economy, has signed Digital Economy Agreements with numerous countries including Chile, New Zealand, South Korea, Australia, the European Union, and the United Kingdom. These agreements serve to promote the free flow of data and foster collaborations.

Indonesia’s introduction of the Data Protection Law in 2022 stands as a pivotal milestone, offering clear mechanisms for cross-border data transfers and defining the permissible types of data that can be transferred.

The ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA) and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) are being developed as regional agreements to facilitate seamless cross-border data flows, further promoting economic growth and cooperation among member countries.

The report emphasizes that countries embracing open cross-border data flows are more likely to experience substantial growth in their digital economies. Over the past decade, cross-border e-commerce has seen a staggering 45-fold increase, reaching an estimated value of $2.7 trillion in 2023. The movement of data across borders enhances competition, expands opportunities for individuals, communities, and businesses, fosters job creation and knowledge sharing, and has a positive overall impact on a country’s economy.

Boon Poh Mok, Director of Government Affairs & Public Policy for Salesforce Southeast Asia & Greater China, commented, “Cross-border data transfers drive economic success. In ASEAN, economies like Singapore are reaping the benefits with its strong cross-border data policies and conducive regulatory environment. This sets the benchmark for other ASEAN nations. It is promising to see economies like Indonesia moving in the right trajectory, with the introduction of new laws that promote cross-border data flows. Supporting the movement of data across borders unlocks the region’s potential and competitiveness and will help drive the region’s overall growth.”

To assist countries in enhancing their cross-border data transfers and optimizing economic growth, the report provides a list of key policy recommendations:

  1. Develop global standards by harmonizing privacy laws and aligning on principles for government access to data in the cloud.
  2. Expand digital economy agreements, including cross-border data provisions, within free trade agreements.
  3. Establish trusted data sharing frameworks as the default approach.
  4. Accelerate the digitization of businesses and government services.
  5. Clearly define data sovereignty in a global and interoperable manner, along with the necessary standards to manage it effectively.

Salesforce’s Data Beyond Borders 3.0 report serves as a comprehensive resource for countries aiming to unlock the potential of cross-border data flows. By embracing these policy recommendations, governments can strengthen their digital economies, foster international collaboration, and fuel overall growth in an increasingly interconnected world.