Singapore - Country Commercial Guide
Information and Telecommunications Technology

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

 

Last published date: 2020-09-16

Overview

Singapore is the most wired country in the world, connected nation-wide by a network of high-speed fiber optics and extensive wireless links. It is one of the world’s most technologically advanced ICT markets. Singaporeans are highly connected, avid users of technology and voracious consumers of data. 

In January 2020, wireless broadband penetration rate was 190.5% while mobile penetration reached 158.7%.  In June 2020, the Singapore government awarded two 5G licenses to Singtel and to Joint-Venture Consortium, a JV between Starhub and M1.  The two licensees are expected to start deploying 5G services by 2021 and complete nationwide deployment by 2025.

The Singapore government is expected to spend US$2.5 billion in ICT investments in financial year 2020.   It views ICT investments as a source of economic and social development and aims to be a Smart Nation.  The goal is to harness innovative technologies and solutions to make the city-state more energy efficient, clean and green, while addressing citizen engagement and governance and needs in healthcare, transportation, and housing.  Singapore’s Smart Nation journey began in 2014 and initiatives underway range from autonomous vehicles to telehealth.

In addition to serving as the region’s trading center, Singapore is universally regarded as the #1 Tech hub in the Indo-Pacific, a key reason why 4,500 U.S. companies are in Singapore.  It has built a world-class, globally competitive tech industry and continues to explore new frontiers in innovation such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, data analytics and other technologies that span healthcare, security, energy, aviation, defense, smart cities and education.  To promote this tech-focused vision, Singapore actively markets itself as a sandbox for new product testing and development, often with financing.

The U.S. and Singapore have a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) on telecom equipment certification.  Click here for a list of the recognized testing and certification agencies in the U.S.

 

2017

2018

2019

2020 (Estimated)

Total Local Production

10,330

9,336

7,692

6,700

Total Exports

28,337

27,563

27,933

24,600

Total Imports

22,979

23,592

26,676

24,550

Imports from the US

1,729

1,727

1,636

1,400

Total Market Size

4,972

5,364

6,436

6,650

Exchange Rates

1.34

1.36

1.34

1.39

            $US millions (total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports)

           Data Sources: Singapore Government Trade Statistics

 

Leading Sub-Sectors

Best prospects include government projects, cyber security, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, internet of things, industrial automation, 5G and smart solutions in mobility, healthcare, education, energy, fintech, aviation, and defense.

Opportunities

Singapore is an advanced and high-value enterprise market where software and services spending are expected to drive continued growth in total ICT spending.  

The government’s ICT procurement in Financial Year 2020 (April 2020-March 2021) will focus on the following five key focus areas:

  • Development of new tech tools to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Development of citizen- and business-centric digital services;
  • Development of ICT systems on cloud;
  • Modernisation of government ICT infrastructure; and
  • Use of data analytics, artificial intelligence and sensors within the public sector.

The increased spending will help the Government to accelerate digitalisation as technology becomes increasingly vital in enabling citizens and workers to resume normal activities, and businesses to reopen safely after the COVID-19 “Circuit Breaker” or lockdown.

Singapore continues to be a solid Health IT market, particularly among Asian countries.  The Ministry of Health (MOH) is expected to increase its procurement of IT services and technologies over the next few years.  The Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS) (the technology arm for MOH) is investing in healthcare systems, mobile applications, a national electronic health record (NEHR), and a smart Clinic Management System.   

U.S. companies interested in participating in government tenders should contact the Singapore Government CIO, GovTech Singapore and IHIS.  In addition, they should register with GeBIZ, the Singapore government’s one-stop e-procurement portal where public sector invitations for quotations and tenders are posted.  Both local and foreign suppliers can search for government procurement opportunities, download tender documents, and submit their bids online.

The Singapore government has a Digital Government Blueprint that spells out its ambition to better leverage data and harness new technologies to drive its efforts to build a digital economy and digital society in support of its Smart Nation vision.  It seeks to partner with ICT companies to develop innovative services and solutions to achieve that vision.

In November 2018, Singapore launched the Services and Digital Economy Technology Roadmap.  It is an important component of Singapore’s Digital Economy Framework for Action and will guide IMDA’s industry development plans and regulatory approaches for the Infocomm and Media (ICM) sector and inform the next tranche of investments in digital technologies under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) program and identify new areas to digitally transform industries under the work of the Future Economy Committee.  According to IMDA, Services 4.0 was identified as a key engine of growth for Singapore’s digital economy as the services industry accounts for 72% of the country’s GDP.  The roadmap will enable business across sectors to harness technology and innovate, equipping their workers with new skills, and capturing opportunities in the digital marketplace to deliver customer-centric experiences.

Singapore is forging ahead with its vision to have a world-class, secure, and resilient 5G infrastructure that will be the backbone of its digital economy.  In June 2020, the Singapore government issued the final award of two 5G licenses to Singtel and to Joint-Venture Consortium, a JV between Starhub and M1.  The two licensees are required to roll out 5G standalone network by 2021, provide coverage for at least half of Singapore by end-2022, and complete nationwide deployment by 2025.  The two winning licensees annouced that they will work with key vendors: Ericsson(Singtel) and Nokia (Joint-Venture Consortium).  TPG Telecom did not win the nationwide 5G licence, but will be allowed to operate smaller 5G networks that provide spot coverage using airwaves that are in abundance and TPG has selected Huawei as its key vendor.

There are excellent opportunities for U.S vendors to supply both 4G and 5G solutions to the telecommunication operators in Singapore as they seek technologies to offer advanced value-added solutions and services to their customers. 

In Southeast Asia, a regional opportunity has emerged for U.S. vendors and smart solutions providers to participate in the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) program that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries have adopted during the East Asia Summit held in Singapore in November 2018.  ASEAN is made up of 10 countries and the ASCN is a collaborative platform where currently 26 cities across ASEAN work towards the common goal of smart and sustainable urban development.  The 26 smart city action plans can be found here.

Web Resources

Trade Shows

ConnecTechAsia, including: CommunicAsia, NXTAsia & BroadcastAsia

September 29-October 1, 2020

Singapore Fintech Festival

December 7-11, 2020, November, 2021

IOT Show Asia 2021

March 24-25, 2021

World Cities Summit

June 20-24, 2021

Cloud Expo Asia

October 20-21, 2021

Key Websites

Smart Nation

Infocomm Media Development Authority

Cyber Security Agency of Singapore

SGTech

 

U.S. Commercial Service, Singapore Contact

Ms. CHIA Swee Hoon, Senior Commercial Specialist

Email: SweeHoon.Chia@trade.gov