Global Data Alliance Congratulates South Korea on its Accession to the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement

WASHINGTON– May 3 2024 – The Global Data Alliance congratulates the Republic of Korea on its accession today to the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA). The GDA is a strong supporter of the DEPA, a ground-breaking digital economy agreement that spans the field of international data governance. DEPA entered into force in 2021 with Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore as initial members.

“We applaud South Korea’s admission to the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement, and praise the negotiating teams from all DEPA Parties for today’s accomplishment,” said Joseph Whitlock, Executive Director at the Global Data Alliance. “The DEPA is a ‘living agreement’ that has grown in importance with recent updates to strengthen its cross-border data policy norms. The DEPA is a unique and novel agreement, addressing digital economy topics – from artificial intelligence to data innovation to digital inclusion – that have not been widely addressed in international treaties to date.”

In May 2023, DEPA members adopted an agreed Protocol that substantially strengthened the original agreement in several areas relevant to the cross-border data policy priorities of concern to GDA members. This Protocol produced clearer prohibitions on:

  • Arbitrary, discriminatory, disguised, or unduly restrictive data transfer restrictions (Art. 5);
  • Improper mandates to localize computing infrastructure (Art. 6); and
  • Discriminatory treatment of another Party’s digital products (Art. 3).

The DEPA also contains a permanent prohibition on the imposition of customs duties on electronic transmissions.

To achieve accession to the DEPA, South Korea was required to demonstrate that all of its domestic laws and practices met “comply with all of the existing provisions contained in the DEPA” – a rigorous standard of review outlined in the DEPA Accession Process guidance document that accompanies the DEPA Agreement Text.

Economies that have expressed an interest in acceding to the DEPA include Canada, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and a range of Latin American economies. Canada and the PRC have been engaged in formal accession talks since 2022 and 2021, respectively.

For Media Inquiries


About the Global Data Alliance

The Global Data Alliance ( is a cross-industry coalition of companies that are committed to high standards of data responsibility and that rely on the ability to transfer data around the world to innovate and create jobs. Alliance members are headquartered across the globe and are active in the advanced manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, consumer goods, electronics, financial services, health, media and entertainment, natural resources, supply chain, and telecommunications sectors, among others. BSA | The Software Alliance administers the Global Data Alliance.