TODAY Online - Digital economy ‘a key ingredient’ for Singapore’s future success
Few countries are as well-placed as the Republic to seize opportunities: Chan Chun Sing
Several members of the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) yesterday singled out the digital economy as the key to Singapore’s future success, with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing believing that few countries are as well-placed as the Republic to seize the opportunities.
In fact, Mr Chan pointed out, digital connectivity and the use of data as an economic resource allow Singapore to overcome its intrinsic limitations of geography and resources. “Data allows us to transcend our resource limitations. Instead of the previous dependence on land, natural resources or people, we now have a new resource of data,” said Mr Chan, who co-chaired the Subcommittee on Future of Connectivity with Ms Mariam Jaafar, managing director of Boston Consulting Group.
Digital connectivity will enable Singapore businesses to reach out easily to the world to expand their market. “Our ability to reach out and internationalise has gone up by a quantum leap, if we get it right,” he concluded.
These factors mean Singapore should be optimistic about achieving success in its next phase of development, he noted. While every country is keen to jump on the digital bandwagon, what sets Singapore apart from the competition is its ability to execute plans well and its reputation of trust and reliability, said Mr Chan, who is also the secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress.
“There are two things that we have that are on our side, the first is our ability to execute, and execute well — our ability to bring together the government agencies, the businesses, trade associations and the labour movement.”
“The second thing is increasingly the brand of Singapore, as a trusted and reliable partner, as a standard bearer of efficiency. If we play to these two sets of strengths well, then I think we have every opportunity to succeed against the competitors. We may all have the same plan, then the trick is who can execute it better … and faster.”
With one of the highest broadband and LTE speeds in the world, Singapore has launched plans to transform into a Smart Nation. As part of the movement, the Government would commit to making more data available to the public as it seeks to get the private sector — especially homegrown companies — to play a big role.
Ms Mariam said that among the strategies unveiled by the CFE, she would “make a big bet” on seizing the economic opportunities offered by the digital economy. Digitisation is “transforming everything” and disrupting businesses, she noted.
In the retail sector, for example, Boston Consulting Group works with retailers to look beyond e-commerce, “pushing the envelope to see how to use data to give very personalised offers that are relevant in real time”.
Other CFE members stressed the need for companies to adapt and innovate. Singtel country chief officer Bill Chang said firms need to start thinking in concrete terms how to innovate, and that could involve working closely with research institutes and forming corporate labs to develop deep-tech capabilities. It is also important for the Government to draw up plans to help companies to develop intellectual property and monetise their ideas, he added.
Source: TODAY Online