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About Singapore

Singapore is a small, multi-cultural and cosmopolitan city-stage in the very heart of South East Asia. Home to a population of over 5 million, it has one of the highest per capita GDP in the world. The country recorded an estimated GDP of US$ 296.6 billion in 2016, with growth projections for 2017 ranging between 2 and 3%.

Singapore is a high-income, free-market economy, and is recognized as a leading financial and high-tech hub of the region. The country is considered to be a strategic starting point for global enterprises seeking business opportunities in Asia. Promiment companies across the globe invest and operate in the country as it offers an open and corruption-free environment to businesses in the market.

Population: 5.78 million
Inflation Rate: -0.8%
Currency: Singapore Dollar (S$)
Ave Exchange Rate: S$ 1.379 : US$ 1
Imports: US$ 271.3 billion
Exports: US$ 353.3 billion
GDP: US$ 296.6 billion
GDP per capita (PPP): US$ 87,100
Real GDP Growth: 2%
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This report provides an overview of the medical technologies sector in Singapore. The Singaporean government strongly fosters the medical sector, and has helped the country to become a medtech manufacturing and R&D hub. From 2000 to 2015, Singapore’s medtech manufacturing nominal val...

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This report is designed to provide an overview of the smart cities sector in Singapore.  The country is a tiny island of 5.7 million people, and is an often-cited example of a smart city in Asia. The country is investing heavily in the future, particularly in smart technologies. The repor...

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Listed as one of the “water-stressed nations in the world”, Singapore struggled with scarcity of water in its early years. Its dependence on Malaysia for the import of raw water led the country to invest heavily into R&D in the water and wastewater sector. Today, it has built u...

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Singapore Country Profile

The report offers a wide range of data and information collected from various sources that were built together in order to provide not just facts but deeper insights about the country. Unlike other country reports that focus more on macro-economic data, we think that the most valuable part of ...

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Container maritime cargo ports


Singapore Developing Interoperability Framework For Digital Trade Documentation

Singapore  -  March 2019

Singapore is seeking to develop an interoperability framework, called “TradeTrust”, for the exchange of digital trade documentation, in order to enable a more seamless and efficient flow of goods between digitally inter-connected trading partners. TradeTrust consists of a set of governance and legal frameworks, standards and a digital infrastructure, to facilitate the interoperability of electronic trade documents exchanged between different digital ecosystems. This is supported by the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) or blockchain to provide participants with proof of authenticity and provenance for these documents. The technical infrastructure will be hosted on the Networked Trade Platform (NTP), Singapore's national trade information management platform, as a value-added service (VAS) to enable the exchange of electronic trade documents.

TradeTrust can reduce the risk of receiving fake documents/information as sources are intended to be accredited. This would remove the need for repetitive checks by the various trade ecosystem parties to ascertain the legitimacy of the documents/information received.  It is also expected to eliminate costs associated with printing, handling and transportation of hundreds of pages of documentation, by digitising certain documents which are handled in paper form today.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will partner the Maritime Port Authority (MPA) to lead TradeTrust development for electronic Bills of Lading (eBL), with support from Singapore Customs and the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA). Through close cooperation between government and industry, the initiative will focus on developing the TradeTrust digital infrastructure, promoting the digitalisation of Bills of Lading and conducting technical trials to demonstrate the interoperability of eBLs across different digital ecosystems. In January 2019, all four parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding to affirm their support for the initiative. IMDA will also be organising industry consultation workgroups with key stakeholders from the maritime trade, logistics and finance sectors to seek feedback on the initiative. Subsequently, a Request for Proposal willl be issued to invite the industry to submit proposals on the technical implementation of the TradeTrust infrastructure.

(Sources: Straits Times; Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore)


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Singapore Plans To Roll Out 5G Networks By 2020

Singapore  -  March 2019

Singapore plans to commence the roll out of 5th generation mobile networks (5G) by 2020.  With 5G, businesses and citizens can experience peak data rates of up to 100 times faster than 4G - with up to 25 times lower latency and the ability to support up to 1000 times more devices per square kilometre.  5G is expected to fundamentally transform how businesses operate, in view of its capacity to handle many high-demand applications simultaneously such as the connectivity of autonomous vehicles, industrial automation, the deployment of IoT and nationwide sensor networks. The Infocomm Media Development Authority (MDA) will launch a public consultation to help develop the right regulatory framework and policies for 5G including the allocation of spectrum.

The announcement regarding 5G was made by Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information, at the Committee of Supply (COS) Debate on 4 March 2019. In his remarks, Minister Iswaran also revealed that the Singapore Government is going to allocate a further SGD 300 million (USD 220 million) for research in the Services and Digital Economy domain, almost doubling it from the current budget.  This increase is part of the next phase of the National Research Foundation’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 Plan (RIE 2020) plan.

Minister Iswaran said that Digital Services Labs will be established to unlock value from R&D investments. This programme will work with technology providers, research and industry partners to co-develop cutting-edge technology to address business challenges.

The government is reviewing the Electronic Transactions Act to cater for new business models, new technologies and national projects. It is also reviewing our Personal Data Protection Act (or PDPA) so that it continues to safeguard consumer interests while enabling the innovative use of data.  

(Source: Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore)

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Punggol digital district


ENGIE To Design District Cooling System For Punggol Digital District

Singapore  -  March 2019

French multinational energy company, ENGIE, has been selected by JTC Corporation, Singapore's principal developer and manager of industrial estate, sand Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) to design the district cooling system (DCS) for the upcoming Punggol Digital District. JTC Corporation is the Master Developer for Punggol Digital District

Punggol Digital District will be the first district in Singapore to adopt a single integrated masterplan approach that brings together a business park, a university and community facilities. This is to create synergies, enable close integration between industry and academia, as well as foster vibrant and strong communities. The district will house key growth sectors of the digital economy such as cybersecurity and digital technology to create an ecosystem of open innovation.

The interconnected DCS plants, which will be housed at SIT’s future Punggol Campus, will be designed by ENGIE to serve JTC’s and SIT’s development as well as the community facilities, delivering stringent energy efficiency requirements to the digital district, with a total cooling capacity of approximately 30,000 RT (105 MW).

In March 2018, ENGIE announced an SGD 80 million investment in Singapore to develop its Centre of Expertise for District Cooling over the next five years. The funds are expected to help develop new, innovative district cooling projects across Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region. ENGIE operates more than 320 low-carbon urban heating and cooling networks in 20 countries including Malaysia, Philippines and New Zealand. 

(Sources: ENGIE; Singapore Business Review)

(Image credit: JTC Corporation)

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Singapore And UK Telemedicine Companies Enter Into Partnership

Singapore  -  March 2019

Singapore-based telemedicine service provider, MyDoc, entered into a partnership with UK-based digital healthcare firm, Synergix Health, to jointly offer telemedicine services across Europe and Asia. Synergix and MyDoc plan to provide online and in-person medical advice to a combined user base of close to 500 corporate clients, through the integration of their digital platforms and patient networks. Users will be able to experience coordinated management of their health conditions, order repeat prescriptions, and connect to licensed clinicians. They will have 24 hour access to services in several languages including English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Bahasa and Hindi. 

MyDoc provides a fully integrated online-to-offline platform streamlining all aspects of primary healthcare into one easy-to-use solution connecting patients to doctors, pharmacies, diagnostic laboratories, clinical-grade health trackers, Fortune 500 and SME employers, and insurers. Its strategic partners in the region include global insurers Aetna, AIA and Cigna, the region’s network of healthcare providers like Fullerton, MHC, IHP and Acumed, leading regional pharmacy chains like Guardian Pharmacy and technology partner, Omron.

Similarly, Synergix provides a complete and integrated virtual and in-person healthcare system and works with business partners such as insurers, retailers and health providers.

(Sources: Business Times; sgsme.sg)


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Singapore Government To Issue Zero Waste Masterplan

Singapore  -  March 2019

The Singapore government plans to release its inaugural Zero Waste Masterplan later this year. The Masterplan will detail the government's upcoming policies and plans, including in infrastructure and R&D. The Masterplan will cover the management of three waste streams:

  1. Electrical and electronic waste: From 2021, producers that supply covered electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) to the local market will be responsible for the end-of-life collection and treatment of their products. Suppliers of consumer EEE will be required to join a Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO), which will be appointed by NEA, to collect and send e-waste for recycling. A single PRO will benefit from economies of scale, and lower the overall cost of the system. Collection targets will be imposed on the PRO, but penalties for failure to meet collection targets will only be enforced from 2024 to allow transition time.

  2. Packaging waste: From 2020, producers of packaging and packaged products (i.e., brand owners, manufacturers, importers, and supermarkets) with an annual turnover of more than SGD 10 million (USD 7.4 million) will be required to report on the amounts and types of packaging they put on the market, and their plans to reduce, reuse and recycle them. This will lay the foundation for the introduction of an Extended Producer Responsibility framework which will be implemented by 2025. 

  3. Food waste: From 2024, large commercial and industrial food waste generators will be required to segregate their food waste for treatment. Such premises include large hotels and malls, and large industrial developments housing food manufacturers, food caterers and food storage warehouses. The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) will work with the public sector to take the lead in segregating food waste for treatment in large public sector buildings where a significant amount of food waste is generated, from 2021 onwards. From 2021, developers of new developments which are expected to be large food waste generators will be required to allocate and set aside space for on-site food waste treatment in their design plans. They will also be required to implement on-site food waste treatment from 2024.

The new regulations are intended to send an economic signal to producers to take into account environmental externalities and facilitate resource recovery. They are expected to incentivise them to design products to last longer, improve recyclability, and reduce packaging. 

(Sources: Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Singapore; Straits Times; Today)

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Singapore Continues To Invest For Enhancing Global Connectivity

Singapore  -  March 2019

Speaking at the Committee of Supply Debate 2019, Singapore's Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health, Dr Lam Pin Min, talked about how Singapore continues to invest in quality infrastructure to provide the needed capacity and strengthen Singapore’s global connectivity. 

Singapore is curently building urrently building Tuas Terminal, which is expected to be the largest container terminal in the world, with a facility that will be able to cater to mega-vessels. In addition, the mega-terminal will also have a total capacity of up to 65 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), more than the combined 50 million TEUs capacity of the current city terminals. It will also be a smarter port, with a higher degree of automation to improve efficiency, safety and service levels. Construction is on track to commence the first phase of operations in 2021.

Similarly, the development of T5 (terminal 5) at Changi Airport is expected to commence operations around 2030. Current airport infrastructure is also being enhanced. Terminal 1’s upgrading is nearing completion. Jewel, a mixed-use development with gardens, attractions, retail, dining, a hotel and facilities to support airport operations, will also open on 17 April. Its aviation facilities will improve the travel experience for passengers, such as early check-in facilities, integrated ticketing and baggage services for fly-cruise and fly-coach transfers. 

Upgrading works on Terminal 2 are going to start soon. Terminal 2 will be expanded and refreshed, with automated check-in kiosks, biometric-enabled bag-drops and automated immigration gates, to offer passengers greater convenience from check-in to immigration to their flight.

Ways to leverage technology to augment human capabilities are also being explored. For instance, with support from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), SATS, the largest ground handler at Changi, is experimenting with Autonomous Container Trailers. If successful, it would mean less physically straining jobs, and more higher-skilled jobs such as Autonomous Vehicle Operators and Fleet Managers. Sea port are being automated to raise productivity. Jurong Port previously used traditional forklifts and flatbed trailers to unload steel, which constitutes more than half of their handled cargo. It now deploys customised side-loaders, which has helped to reduce its manpower requirement for steel unloading by 60%.

(Sources: Ministry of Transport, Singapore)

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Food restaurant homecook


SATS Opens New SGD 25 Million Kitchen Facility

Singapore  -  March 2019

On 11 March 2019, SATS Ltd. (SATS) unveiled a new SGD 25 million (USD 18.5 million) kitchen with food technologies that can preserve nutritional qualities and optimise taste while extending shelf life. The facility has an automated rice line capable of producing about 4,000 rice portions an hour, auto-fryers with the capacity to cook approximately 120 kg of rice or noodles in an hour, a thermoforming packing line, and the first commercially available pasteurisation and sterilisation technology in Asia.

The facility has digital twin technology that helps SATS to simulate different production scenarios and the cooking process for each recipe to optimise the use of resources in its kitchens. By harnessing digital twin, SATS can capture the culinary insights and experience of its chefs digitally and empower them to reproduce the same recipe faithfully.

A team of food technologists, dietitians, and chefs at SATS has worked to develop a variety of menus using the new technologies. It will offer a selection of these meals to aviation customers in the initial phase and extend the distribution of similar meals to non-aviation customers under its Country Foods brand at a later stage.

SATS is the chief ground-handling and in-flight catering service provider at Singapore Changi Airport. It is also a leading provider of gateway services and food solutions in Asia.

(Sources: SAT; Channel NewsAsia)


Aircraft wing engine


Bombardier To Quadruple Footprint Of Singapore Service Center

Singapore  -  March 2019

Multinational aerospace manufacturing company, Bombardier, announced plans to more than quadruple the current footprint of its Singapore Service Center with an investment of SGD 85 million (USD 63 million). It will transform the facility into a high-capacity, one-stop-shop super center, offering its customers a full gamut of maintenance, refurbishment and modification services required throughout an aircraft’s life, directly on site.

The area of the Service Center located at Seletar Aerospace Park which opened in 2014, will be increased from 100,000 sq. ft. (9,260 sq m  to approximately 430,000 sq. ft. (40,000 sq m) by 2020. The expansion will introduce exceptional new customer facilities, a full-service 37,000 sq. ft. (3,500 sq m) paint facility, advanced interior finishing capabilities, with key support functions, such as training, sales and customer support and an expanded portfolio of component, repair and overhaul (CR&O) services. It will also offer heavy structural and composite repair capabilities, in addition to a 10,000 sq.ft. (929 sq m) integrated parts depot. The new expanded center will be capable of supporting more than 2,000 visits annually. The groundbreaking of the expansion will occur on February 27, 2019 and the facility is expected to be operational in 2020.

The Singapore Service Center currently employs more than 150 staff, including 100 licensed engineers and technicians, and has received more than 20 certifications and authorizations from international regulators to service the full range of Bombardier Global, Challenger and Learjet aircraft including the largest, most luxurious and longest range business jet ever built, the flagship Global 7500 aircraft. In addition to offering scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and aircraft on ground (AOG) support, the Singapore Service Center is recognized as a centre of excellence for complex retrofit work, including avionics and Ka-band installations.

(Sources: Bombardier; Business Times)

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Nuts grains produce


Singapore Aims To Locally Produce 30 Percent Of Food Requirement By 2030

Singapore  -  March 2019

The Singapore government has set a target to locally produce 30% of Singapore’s nutritional needs by 2030. Currently, Singapore imports over 90% of its food requirements. To achieve this “30 by 30 vision”, the government will help the local agri-food industry to adopt new solutions to raise productivity, apply R&D, strengthen climate resilience, and overcome Singapore's resource constraints. This announcement was made by Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, at the Committee of Supply Debate 2019, on 7 March 2019.

The Minister said that the Agriculture Productivity Fund (APF) has supported local farms such as Kok Fah and Ho Ka Clean to integrate climate control and automation into their operations, thereby raising their capacity and productivity. The APF administered by the Singapore Food Agency or SFA (previously by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore, whose food responsbilities have been transferred to the SFA) helps local farms to upgrade their farms and conduct R&D. More than 90 farms have benefitted from the APF. The government will work similarly with existing coastal fish farms. As an example of technological innovation, the minister cited  the adoption of closed containment aquaculture systems by Singapore Aquaculture Technologies. This protects fish production from sea-borne threats such as algae blooms or oil spills. The Singapore government's vision is to develop Singapore into a tropical aquaculture hub. One area being studied is deep sea fish farming, which can contribute significantly to local production.  A local first mover is Barramundi Asia, which uses large sea cages to culture Asian seabass in the deep waters off Pulau Semakau, Singapore's offshore landfill.  Using technology, Barramundi Asia can vaccinate 9000 fish in one hour, compared to just 600 manually. SFA will work with agencies and industry to open up more sites for deep sea farming with technology.

Singapore will also expand production in state-of-the-art indoor farms, using high-tech solutions like LED lighting and climate control. SFA will support the growing interest in urban farming, such as on rooftops. Such farms can also be used to test-bed innovative technologies for growing food. The Ministry is working with Singapore Land Authority (SLA), Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) to pilot this concept, re-purposing the former Henderson Secondary School into an integrated space comprising an urban farm, a child care centre, a nursing home and a dialysis centre. 

The government is aiming to grow an ecosystem of R&D players to support agri- and aquaculture industry development. SFA’s Marine Aquaculture Centre will contribute to this effort by sharing its expertise and providing facilities for R&D. The RIEC has also set aside SGD 144 million (USD 106 million) for this.  

The government has worked with higher educational institutions, Republic Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic to launch SkillsFuture Earn & Learn programmes or ELP for fresh ITE graduates, leading to diplomas in Urban Agricultural Technology, and Aquaculture. The ELP will emplace ITE graduates in industry and equip them with the knowledge and skills to become agriculture and aquaculture technicians. We will also partner universities to groom Agri- and Aqua- technologists and culturists, urban farming specialists, and researchers to meet future needs.

(Sources: Straits Times; Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Singapore)


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We counsel businesses on where to locate their office and industrial operations and what the optimal business structure should be to meet local government and tax requirements. Some of the quest...

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To successfully export your products or services, you need to learn about your customers, your competitors and your industry. Our market research process starts off with brainstorming effective ...

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Many companies participate in trade shows hoping to find customers or local agents or distributors. However, they come away from these events with less than desired results. But with our trade s...

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