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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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New Grant From MAS To Enhance Singapore's Position As Enterprise Financing Hub

Singapore  -  January 2019

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is launching a new SGD 75 million (USD 55 million) Grant for Equity Market Singapore (GEMS) in support of Singapore’s vision to serve as Asia’s centre for capital raising and enterprise financing. GEMS will be a three-year initiative to help enterprises seeking to raise capital through Singapore’s equity market.

The Grant will have three components:

  1. Listing Grant to facilitate enterprises seeking a listing on Singapore Exchange (SGX) by defraying part of their Initial Public Offering (IPO) costs;

  2. Research Talent Development Grant to strengthen Singapore’s research coverage of enterprises by grooming equity research talent; and 

  3. Research Initiatives Grant to support crowd-sourced initiatives to propel the development of Singapore’s equity research ecosystem.

Three categories of firms will be eligible for the listing grant. Enterprises in new technology sector which includes financial technologies, consumer digital technologies, on-demand services as well as gaming services & peripherals, with minimum market capitalisation of SGD 300 million, can receive co-funding of 70% of eligible listing expenses, with grant capped at SGD 1 million. Enterprises from high growth sectors with minimum market capitalisation of SGD 300 million will be eligible for co-funding of 20% of eligible listing expenses, with grant capped at SGD 500,000. The high growth sectors, identified in the Committee for Future Economy (CFE) report, are digital cluster, advanced manufacturing, hub services, logistics, urban solutions & infrastructure and healthcare. Other enterprises from all sectors, with no minimum market capitalization requirement, can receive co-funding 20% of eligible listing expenses, with grant capped at SGD 200,000.

The Research Talent Development Grant will co-fund 70% of the salaries for fresh graduates hired as equity research analysts and 50% of the salaries for re-employed experienced equity research analysts. This grant is for locals only. It aims to groom a pipeline of equity research analysts and retain experienced research talent to initiate research coverage primarily of listed mid and small-cap enterprises. 

The Research Initiatives Grant can cover initiatives such as publication of industry or sector primers, innovative ways to distribute research and disseminate enterprise information to investors. 

(Sources: Monetary Authority of Singapore; Business Times)


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Cyber security


Singapore Developing Cybersecurity Roadmap For Telecom Sector

Singapore  -  February 2019

A Telecom Cybersecurity Strategic Committee (TCSC), comprising international cybersecurity experts and representatives from the government and Singapore’s telecom operators are working on a roadmap for telecom sector cybersecurity, identifying cybersecurity threats to the telecom sector in the next five years and capabilities needed to counter these threats. The roadmap will identify areas for improvement in Singapore’s telecom cybersecurity capabilities, and recommend strategies, policies and initiatives with the objective of developing trusted, secure and resilient next-generation connectivity infrastructure, including 5G and narrowband Internet-of-Things (NB-IoT) sensor networks.. The first set of recommendations are expected to be published later this year. 

Government representatives on the TCSC include the heads of the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Cyber Security Agency, and DSO (national defense research agency of Singapore), while the expert panel consists of a former head of the UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the CEOs of Team 8 from Israel and US-based IronNet Cybersecurity. 

This was announced at  the inaugural Infocomm Media Cybersecurity Conference. IMDA also announced two additional initiatives to fortify Singapore’s infocomm sector. 

The first is the launch of the electronic Know Your Customer (eKYC) implementation guide which will provide guidance to the industry on the management of security concerns in their deployment of eKYC solutions. The eKYC guide aims to make it more convenient for consumers to register for mobile services online in a trusted manner by enabling operators to digitally verify mobile services registrations securely without physical face-to-face transactions. The second is the launch of a public consultation on a cybersecurity guide for Internet of Things (IoT) systems, which seeks to promote best industry practices in mitigating cybersecurity risks for organisations looking to deploy such systems. 

(Sources: Infocomm Media Development Authority, Singapore; Business Times)

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Sembcorp and Singapore Polytechnic Seek To Commercialize Technology For Recycling Solar...

Singapore  -  February 2019

Singapore-based utilities, marine and urban development group, Sembcorp Industries (Sembcorp), has entered into a partnership with Singapore Polytechnic (SP) to commercialize the first-ever technology in Singapore for photovoltaic recycling. The process developed locally by SP researchers recovers resources from used solar panels, such as glass, silicon, and metals including silver and aluminium. The two partners will work together to translate these solutions from laboratory to market, and accelerate plans to develop a pilot recycling plant for solar panels. Once the technology proves commercially viable, the pilot plant can serve as a potential prototype for larger-scale recycling of used solar panels in Singapore, and beyond.

Sembcorp and SP are also collaborating to jointly develop course curriculum at the polytechnic, internships, as well as continuing education programmes for managers, engineers and technicians working on solar projects. In the future, Sembcorp also plans to make this training a requirement for all contractors working on its solar power projects in Singapore.

Sembcorp is a leading solar power player in Singapore, with more than 120 megawatt peak of capacity in operation and under development here, across more than 1,500 sites. The company’s rooftop solar projects here are located on top of public housing blocks, schools, government sites, as well as private commercial and industrial facilities. Globally, Sembcorp has around 2,600 megawatts of wind and solar power projects across Singapore, China and India. Last year, the company unveiled its new Climate Change Strategy and outlined ambitious targets to double its renewables portfolio and reduce its carbon emission intensity by around 25% by 2022.

(Source: Sembcorp; Straits Times)

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Health insurance


Singapore-Based Digital Healthcare Company Partners With AIA

Singapore  -  January 2019

Singapore-based digital managed care platform MyDoc is partnering with global insurance company, AIA, to create its first digitally integrated corporate health screening programme. MyDoc will digitally deliver health screening results of AIA Vitality members in Singapore from the AIA Vitality Basic Health Check (BHS) identifies members’ risk for chronic disease by checking their body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol levels. AIA Vitality members who complete their health screening through MyDoc will receive Vitality points of up to 6,000 if their results are within the healthy ranges.

MyDoc is part of Singapore’s Ministry of Health's (MOH) regulatory sandbox for telemedicine, that allows the safe development of new and innovative healthcare models to be piloted in a controlled environment.. MyDoc has shown a reduction in patient healthcare costs by at least 16% according to a study done by a senior economist at the University of Southern California’s Center for Economic and Social Research. It demonstrated a potential cost saving of up to 28% resulting from improvements in chronic diseases management and aversion of accident and emergency (A&E) services.

MyDoc has conducted successful and ongoing implementations with the largest insurers and Fortune 500 companies in In Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, including AIA, Aetna, and Cigna. 

(Source: MyDoc; Enterprise Innovation)


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Water   wastewater treatment2


Trial Project Takes Singapore Closer To Energy Self-Sufficiency In Used Water Treatment

Singapore  -  February 2019

Singapore’s National Water Agency, PUB, and the country's National Environment Agency (NEA) completed a two-year trial started in December 2016 to co-digest food waste and used water sludge for higher energy generation. Water reclamation plants in Singapore currently use waste water sludge to generate biogas, which then provides part of the energy required to power the plant. 

The trial project found that the biogas yield from co-digestion of used water sludge and food waste is triple of the biogas generated from the digestion of used water sludge alone. When compared to the separate digestion of used water sludge and food waste, the biogas yield from co-digestion is 40% more.​​

As part of the trial, up to 40 tonnes of used water sludge and food waste from 23 premises were treated daily at the facility. The mixture of used water sludge and food waste then undergoes anaerobic digestion, a biological process that breaks down organic materials in the absence of oxygen, to produce biogas for energy generation. The results demonstrate the possibility of making the used water treatment process in water reclamation plants more energy self-sufficient and achieve greater synergy by co-locating the facilities of used water sludge and food waste treatment. This will be implemented at the new Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF) and Tuas Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) - collectively known as the Tuas Nexus – which are scheduled to be completed in 2025. 

This will also help in dealing with Singapore's second largest waste stream of food waste, of which only 16% is currently recycled, well below Singapore’s overall recycling rate of about 60%. 

(Sources: PUB; Channel NewsAsia)

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Sustained Public Sector Demand To Support Construction In Singapore For 2019

Singapore  -  February 2019

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) of Singapore is projecting that the total construction demand (value of construction contracts to be awarded) in 2019 will range between SGD 27 billion (USD 20 billion) and SGD 32 billion (USD 23.5 billion), compared to the preliminary estimate of SGD 30.5 billion  (USD 22.4 billion) worth of contracts awarded in 2018.

The projections are supported by sustained public sector construction demand, which is expected to reach between SGD 16.5 billion (USD 12 billion) and SGD 19.5 billion (USD 14.3 billion) in 2019, contributing to about 60% of the projected demand for this year. Public construction demand is expected to be boosted by major infrastructure projects and a pipeline of major industrial building projects.

The private sector’s construction demand is expected to remain steady at between SGD 10.5 billion (USD 7.7 billion) and SGD 12.5 billion (USD 9.2 billion) in 2019, supported by projects including the redevelopment of past en-bloc sales sites concluded prior to the second half of 2018 and new industrial developments.

Construction demand in 2018 was within forecast due to strong demand from institutional building and civil engineering projects, continued positive growth in the manufacturing sector and more private residential redevelopment projects from en-bloc sales in 2017 and the first half of 2018. 

BCA expects a steady improvement in construction demand over the medium term. Demand is projected to reach between S$27 billion and S$34 billion per year for 2020 and 2021 and could increase to between SGD 28 billion (USD 20.6 billion) and SGD 35 billion (USD 25.7 billion) per year for 2022 and 2023. The public sector is expected to contribute SGD 16 billion (USD 11.8 billion) to SGD 20 billion (USD 14.7 billion) per year from 2020 to 2023 with similar proportions of demand coming from building projects and civil engineering works, driven by public residential developments and big infrastructure projects such as the Cross Island Line, developments at Jurong Lake District and Changi Airport Terminal. 

(Sources: Building and Construction Authority, Singapore; Straits Times)

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Factory inside steel


Singapore Launches First Half 2019 Industrial Government Land Sales Program

Singapore  -  January 2019

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) of Singapore has launched its Industrial Government Land Sales (IGLS) programme for the first half of 2019 (1H 2019). There will be 5 sites in the Confirmed List and 7 sites in the Reserve List, with a total site area of 11.86 ha (118,600 sq m). This is slightly lower than the total site area of 12.59 ha for the previous launch in the second half of  2018. Under the Reserve List, the Government puts up a site for tender if an interested party submits an application with an offer of a minimum purchase price that is acceptable to the Government; or if there is sufficient market interest in the form of more than one unrelated party submitting minimum purchase prices that are close to the Government’s Reserve Price for the site within a reasonable period.

These plots are zoned as B2, which means that these areas can be used for clean industry, light industry, general industry, warehouse, public utilities and telecommunication uses and other public installations.

Previously, in December 2018, logistics group Logos signed a long-term sale-and-leaseback agreement with solar panel company REC for an undisclosed amount in Singapore’s largest single-asset industrial transaction of 2018. The deal involves 150,000 sq m of space, on a 25-hectare site in Tuas South. The property is located next to the future Tuas Mega Port which when completed by 20203, will handle all of Singapore’s container activities and handle up to 65 million standard-sized containers. 

(Sources: Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore; Straits Times; Singapore Business Review)

Airport terminal


Singapore Airlines Launches Digital Innovation Lab

Singapore  -  February 2019

On 29 January 2019, Singapore Airlines launched its new digital innovation lab, called KrisLab, in line with the Airline’s Digital Innovation Blueprint which was launched in 2018. Under the Blueprint, SIA is working to develop and nurture the digital aviation and travel technology community in Singapore, through collaborative partnerships with organisations such as the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), National University of Singapore (NUS) and other partners, along with support from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the Economic Development Board (EDB).

Technology such as blockchain, mixed reality devices, artificial intelligence and data analytics, among others, are used and explored at the lab as part of the airline's digital initiatives to enhance operations and overall customer experience. Examples of areas being explored include revenue management, smart seats, virtual training, and predictive maintenance for aircraft. One of the innovations being explored at KrisLab involves the use of virtual reality technology to allow our designers to step on board and explore or change future cabin design concepts quickly. This is one of the many initiatives the Airline is exploring to enhance operations and overall customer experience.

Staff can submit ideas and solutions for evaluation by the Digital Innovation Lab team based on technological and implementation readiness, as well as market and strategic attractiveness. If an idea is approved, seed funding along with expertise provided by the Digital Innovation Lab team is provided to help further develop it into a prototype, before moving to the implementation stage.

(Sources: Singapore Airlines; Straits Times)

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Luxury brands


Luxury Shopping Destination In Singapore Sees Record Revenues In 2018

Singapore  -  February 2019

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands witnessed its most successful year ever in 2018, with revenues of USD 179 million, a 7% rise from 2017. Retail tenant sales at The Shoppes,which enjoys an occupancy of 95.4%, jumped 19% to USD 1,898 per square foot compared to the preceding year. The Shoppes also retained its top position in tourism shopping, representing an estimated 25% of the tax-free tourist market in Singapore. This is based on industry metrics that track tax-refunded tourist receipts. 

This performance of the luxury shopping destination comes in the midst of struggles for most brick-and-mortar retail, in the face of competition from e-commerce. 

A press release from Marina Bay Sands attributed the success to an ongoing retail remix strategy that started in 2012, which saw the mall double its footprint with luxury brands in the form of duplexes, as well as expansion into luxury childrenswear. This strategy was coupled with other attractions such as late-night shopping, in-store exclusives, and one of the most generous loyalty programmes in Singapore, has resulted in 120,000 shoppers walking through the doors of the mall daily. 

There are plans to unveil several new-to-market brands, expansions, and luxury flagship stores in the first half of 2019. Following the recent opening of Moncler’s flagship duplex and biggest store in APAC; as well as the expansion of luxury fashion house Hermès from a single unit to a duplex store, Philipp Plein will launch its biggest store in South East Asia this quarter at the Shoppes. These new additions will bring the mall’s total number of luxury duplexes to 17. Other brands joining The Shoppes this year include new-to-market Italian luxury shoe label Gianvito Rossi with its first standalone store in Southeast Asia, and French designer label Roger Vivier’s Singapore flagship store. Delvaux, one of the world’s oldest fine leather luxury goods purveyors, has also just unveiled its second boutique in Singapore, ahead of a host of new openings including COS, Lululemon, Polo Ralph Lauren and SK Gold. Italian fashion brands Loro Piana, Stefano Ricci, luxury Japanese pearl company Mikimoto, and French High Jewellery Maison Van Cleef & Arpels will expand their presence at the Shoppes.

(Sources: Business Times; Marina Bay Sands)


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There is a growing interest in sourcing for products from South East Asia for strategic and competitive reasons. Companies from around the world are looking for suppliers in Malaysia, Thailand, ...

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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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