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Singapore Ideal Hub for Expansion of Southeast Asian Tech

The 649 million digitally-dominant Southeast Asians and the region’s nascent infrastructure are driving an unprecedented boom for startups in the e-commerce, financial services, healthcare, and education sectors. Despite the relatively small size of its market, Singapore acts as ideal for cross-regional expansion because of its international reputation and government initiatives to cultivate investment, talent, and connections.

The tech ecosystem in Singapore is unique thanks to its strategic state intervention and its position between East and West. The island nation is home to over 600 investors and 200 accelerators and incubators, not to mention various state and government-linked initiatives.

Funding aside, Singapore is also a conducive environment for startups looking for a gateway to the rest of Southeast Asia. The country has consistently ranked as one of the best in terms of ease of doing business because of access to talent and business-friendly regulations. Singapore’s government has been especially progressive in helping startups find connections to not just funding, but also global partners and tech talent. In 2021, EDB’s investment arm helped 25 startups raise US$216 million in funding from private investors.

​​Singapore’s progressive approach to regulation has promoted strong partnerships between government and business. Singapore takes a different approach by working closely together with tech companies to develop and test new technologies that may not be ready for the real world. The country’s wellspring of businesses has naturally made it attractive to talent from all over the world.

As big tech firms set up regional headquarters and scale up their tech hiring, the pinch in talent will be more acutely felt by smaller tech firms and might hurt the long-term vibrancy of the tech ecosystem. However, the government’s efforts to cultivate tech talent through educational institutions like the National University of Singapore’s Overseas College and upskilling programs like SkillsFuture is one step in the right direction.

Singapore has also teamed up with countries in the region to develop partnerships that provide companies with a steady pipeline of tech talent. One of the examples is a Batam-based tech hub that trains and hires Indonesian tech talent to complement and support the operations of Singapore-based companies as part of a holistic and integrated regional tech strategy. The tech hub also serves as a digital bridge between Indonesia and Singapore enabling companies from both countries to collaborate and innovate to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

To ensure that Singapore remains an attractive place to do business, government agencies need to closely follow global innovation hubs such as Silicon Valley, New York, and London. However, simply copying their policies and strategies wholesale would not work, instead, it is vital that the country learns from what these leading tech ecosystems do right and then adapt best practices for the Southeast Asian context.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, amid Singapore’s first priority to strengthen its digital capabilities, about S$200 million will be set aside over the next few years to enhance schemes that build such capabilities among firms and workers. This focus comes as Singapore has a window of opportunity over the next few years to establish leading positions in key market segments.

Singapore will accelerate investments in new capabilities to power the next stage of growth. Singapore is one of the most connected cities in the world, and among the first to roll out a 5G standalone network. The country will invest further to meet its future needs. Singapore will upgrade its broadband infrastructure to increase broadband access speeds by around ten times over the next few years.

The government will also invest in future technologies like 6G, to ride the next communications and connectivity wave. The use cases for such high speeds are still nascent, but there are many new possibilities for augmented and virtual reality tools, limited only by our imagination.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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