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Singapore Debuts SGTraDex to Improve Supply Chain Ecosystem

Image credits: www.imda.gov.sg

The Singapore government launched the Singapore Trade Data Exchange (SGTraDex), a common data infrastructure and framework expected to unlock over S$200 million in value annually when fully developed. This is the second exchange launched by the Republic, the first being the Singapore Financial Data Exchange (SGFinDex) last year, said Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF) are also investing close to S$70 million to support “cutting-edge” communications and connectivity research. Mr Heng noted that SGTraDex will onboard stakeholders along the supply chain, especially smaller firms, so they can be part of this digital backbone. SGTraDex will also enable new value-added services for supply chain participants and speed up the processing of customs clearance, trade financing, insurance and other related activities, the Deputy Prime Minister said.

SGTraDex was conceptualised by the Alliance for Action (AfA) on Supply Chain Digitalisation which will be anchored through a public-private partnership. SGTraDex is a digital infrastructure that facilitates trusted and secure sharing of data between supply chain ecosystem partners. Globally, there is a macro shift in trade flows and supply chains both physically and digitally. There have been momentous inefficiencies in events, documentation and financial information flows across the supply chain.

SGTraDex aims to streamline information flows across a fragmented global supply chain ecosystem through a common data highway. With this digital transformation, companies will gain the momentum to build a stronger and robust supply chain ecosystem for international trade flows. New efficiencies and opportunities will be unlocked through this collaboration where ecosystem partners come together to achieve shared visibility of the end-to-end supply chain.

The new exchange has three initial use cases – strengthen financing integrity of trade flows, enhance end-to-end visibility of container logistics flows, and digitalise the bunkering industry, IMDA said. It expects to fully roll out the SGTraDex in early 2022 and allow more industry players to participate and capture value from it.

Meanwhile, IMDA’s and NRF’s S$70 million investment will fall under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) plan. It will be used to launch the national Future Communications Research & Development Programme (FCP). The FCP will help grow local capabilities to translate the research into innovative products, services and companies by setting up new communications testbeds in 5G and beyond. The FCP is also hosted by the Singapore University of Technology and Design, which will lead collaboration across the Singapore ecosystem, which comprises the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, National University of Singapore and Singapore Institute of Technology.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the programme will support artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity research for next-generation communications infrastructures, support testbeds for innovative pilots, and provide scholarships for those seeking to pursue research in communications. For starters, it has tied up with Finland’s 6G Flagship – a partnership with the University of Oulu, Finland – to explore cooperation opportunities, including 6G workshops, joint research and educational projects.

Separately, Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo has signed a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) with Japan and an MOU with Thailand. The MOC with Japan aims to strengthen information and communications technology collaboration between both countries, enabling closer policy alignment and regulation on businesses.

Meanwhile, the MOU with Thailand is for digital economy cooperation. The MOU has been expanded to include areas such as digital connectivity, smart cities and artificial intelligence governance. Singapore and Thailand are also exploring interoperability between digital systems and frameworks that enable e-documentation, IMDA said.

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