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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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Singapore And US Renew Deepen Through Renewal of Collaboration Platform

Singapore  -  November 2018

Singapore and the United States (US) have renewed the US-Singapore Collaboration Platform Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Both countries agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation in traditional infrastructure areas such as energy and standards, and support the digital economy and new growth areas such as FinTech, e-commerce, smart city solutions, and deep technology.

Since the MOU was first signed in 2016, Singapore and US agencies have collaborated on key events such as the Asia-Singapore Infrastructure Roundtable (ASIR) and the Singapore FinTech Festival. ASIR 2017 provided a platform for Singapore and US companies to exchange views and best practices on infrastructure planning and development, particularly for Asia. In November 2018, several US companies also formed a US Pavilion and exhibited their innovations at the Singapore FinTech Festival.

Bilateral trade in goods and services between Singapore and the US reached nearly USD 75 billion in 2017. In the same year, the US remained the largest foreign investor in Singapore, while Singapore was the US’ second-largest Asian investor.

Singapore and the United States also signed a Declaration of Intent (DOI) to collaborate on a Singapore-US Cybersecurity Technical Assistance Programme for ASEAN Member States, further strengthening partnerships in regional cybersecurity capacity building. It builds on the strong ongoing collaboration under the Memorandum of Understanding on Cybersecurity Cooperation between Singapore and the US, signed in August 2016. 

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

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MAS And Singapore Exchange Leverage Blockchain To Simplify Post-Trade Processes

Singapore  -  November 2018

In the latest phase of Project Ubin, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Singapore Exchange (SGX) announced the successful development of Delivery versus Payment (DvP) capabilities for the settlement of tokenised assets across different blockchain platforms. This will help simplify post-trade processes and further shorten settlement cycles. The DvP prototypes, developed with technology partners Anquan Capital, Deloitte and Nasdaq, demonstrated that financial institutions and corporate investors are able to carry out the simultaneous exchange and final settlement of tokenised digital currencies and securities assets on different blockchain platforms. The ability to perform these activities simultaneously improves operational efficiency and reduces settlement risks.

The collaboration also demonstrated that DvP settlement finality, interledger interoperability and investor protection can be achieved through specific solutions designed and built on blockchain technology. Following its conclusion, MAS and SGX have jointly published an industry report, which provides a comprehensive view of automating DvP settlement processes with Smart Contracts. The report also identifies key technology and operational considerations to ensure resilient operations, and defines a market framework that governs post-trade settlement processes such as arbitration. 

The first phase of Project Ubin, conducted over six weeks from 14 November 2016 to 23 December 2016, achieved the objectives of producing a digital representation of the Singapore Dollar (‘SGD-on-ledger’) for interbank settlement, testing methods of connecting bank systems to a DLT, and making the MAS Electronic Payment System (MEPS+) interoperate with DLT for automated collateral management. The completion of Phase 2 of Project Ubin, conducted together with 11 financial institutions and five technology companies, was announced in October 2017. In this second phase, three software models were developed, which are amongst the first in the world to implement decentralised netting (aggregating and offsetting the value of multiple positions or payments due to be exchanged between two or more parties) of payments in a manner that preserves transactional privacy. The source-codes and technical documentation of the three successful DLT based prototypes developed in Project Ubin Phase 2 were released for public access, so that central banks, financial institutions, as well as academic and research institutions could tap on the open source-codes to facilitate their experiments, research and innovation.

There are three more planned phases for the project:

  • Phase 4: Payment versus Payment for cross-border settlement In this future phase, the objective is to assess the feasibility of cross-border DvP

  • Phase 5: Target operating model In this future phase, the objective is to evaluate the impact of DLT on existing regulatory framework and market processes

  • Phase 6: Cross-border DvP and Payment versus Payment In this future phase, the objective is to apply the learnings garnered to execute cross-border settlement of both payments and securities.

(Source: Monetary Authority of Singapore)

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Singapore Launches New Consortia For Smart Grids And Cooling Technology R&D

Singapore  -  November 2018

The National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF) and the Energy Market Authority (EMA) announced on 30 October that they are setting up two new consortia, the Smart Grid and Power Electronics Consortium Singapore (SPECS) and the Cooling Energy Science and Technology Singapore (CoolestSG) Consortium. The two consortia will bring together research institutes, companies and government agencies to come up with solutions in smart grid and cooling technologies. NRF and EMA are setting aside up to SGD 9 million (USD 6.5 million) over three years for both consortia.

SPECS will be hosted at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and it will be co-chaired by the Energy Research Institute @ NTU ([email protected]) and EMA to facilitate the eventual deployment of smart grid and power electronics technologies developed in the Energy Grid 2.0 programme. It will focus on areas in advanced power electronics such as solid state transformers, energy management systems such as load and generation balancing, and cybersecurity. 

CoolestSG will develop and accelerate the deployment and commercialisation of cooling technologies, which can be applied to buildings, data centres and industry. Technologies include both active and passive cooling, and cooling by integrated design. It will be hosted at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and it will be co-chaired by senior management from NUS and BCA (Building  and Construction Authority). A technical committee comprising representatives from NUS, industry and government agencies will provide technical guidance for the consortium and actively engage industry partners to build strong networks and identify pipeline projects. 30 companies including Ascendas-Singbridge, CapitaLand, ENGIE, Mitsubishi Electric, Natflow Pte. Ltd., and Shinhan Tech-Engineering Pte. Ltd, will be joining the consortium. 

This announcement was one of several made by EMA during the Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW). EMA also announced the launch of  a program to facilitate adoption of Energy Storage Systems (ESS) in Singapore. The programme, known as ACCESS or ACCelerating Energy Storage for Singapore will kick off with two partners, PSA Corporation Limited and Sembcorp Industries. We will work with them to pilot use cases, design business models, and facilitate regulatory and market approvals to operate ESS in Singapore. Another new program is the Exploiting Distributed Generation (EDGE) programme, which will focus on building capabilities in distributed energy technologies to prepare Singapore for an increasingly decentralised energy landscape, through a collaboration between EMA and Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT).

(Source: Energy Market Authority, Singapore)

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Singapore Sets Up Multi-Agency Taskforce To Transform Health Promotion

Singapore  -  November 2018

The Singapore government has set up a new multi-agency taskforce led by Senior Parliamentary Secretaries from various Ministries has been appointed by the Minister for Health, Mr Gan Kim Yong, to drive the national transformation of Singapore’s health promotion landscape and nurture a healthier population. The taskforce will synergise and coordinate efforts towards this objective across public agencies including the Ministry of National Development, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Social and Family Development, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, and the Community Development Council.

The taskforce aims to establish an integrated approach towards ways in which health can be infused into Singaporeans’ lives through three key thrusts – or three ‘E’s: 

               a. Changes to our lived Environment;

               b. Empowerment of individuals through technology; and

               c. Engagement of our communities with better service delivery and ground programming.

The Taskforce will conduct public consultation sessions from January to May 2019 for the general public. This includes youth, adults, seniors, community partners as well as professionals in fields such as public health, social work, behavioural insights, urban design and sports, to crowd-source ideas and initiatives that can promote health.

(Sources: Ministry of Health, Singapore; Today)

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JTC and NParks Install Singapore's Largest Purpose-Built Reef Structures

Singapore  -  November 2018

Singapore’s largest purpose-built reef structures were installed on 8 November in the waters off Small Sister’s Island, within the Sisters’ Islands Marine Park. The project was initially announced in May 2018 as a collaboration between JTC and the National Parks Board (NParks). NParks is responsible for providing and enhancing the greenery of Singapore, while JTC is the lead agency in Singapore to spearhead the planning, promotion and development of industrial estates and related facilities. 

Since the project was launched it has received support from 11 donor companies from JTC’s estates and developments with contributions ranging from SGD 5,000 to SGD 100,000 per company made towards the “Grow-a-Reef Garden” initiative under the Garden City Fund, NParks’ registered charity and an Institution of Public Character. The contributing companies include Chang Chun Dairen, Denka, ExxonMobil, GSK, Keppel Group, Mitsui, Oiltanking Asia, Petrochemical Corporation of Singapore, Siltronic, Sumimoto Chemicals and Vopak Terminals. 

The “Grow-a-Reef Garden” initiative is one of three identified by JTC, as part of its Industry for Sustainability program, the other two being “Plant-a-Tree” programme, and donations to the Seed Bank programme by the Singapore Botanic Gardens. A total of eight structures, including the one installed today, will be installed by the end of 2018 to form the JTC-NParks Reef Garden. The structures, pre-fabricated offsite, are designed to sit on the seabed without piling or major foundation works that would otherwise disturb the underwater environment. The structures replicate a reef slope by occupying the entire water column from sub-surface to the seafloor, and will provide numerous and diverse habitat niches for a wide variety of marine life. 

The reef structures will provide around 1,000 sq m of additional reef substrate to the Marine Park by 2030 for the attachment and growth of coral. In addition, the spaces created within the matrix of the reef structures will provide suitable areas for the recruitment of various fish species. The graded stone pitching on the structure surface, created using rocks recycled from JTC’s projects such as Jurong Rock Caverns, increases the surface texture complexity for corals or encrusting organisms. 

The project will complement NParks’ ongoing reef enhancement efforts. For example, to safeguard hard coral species found in Singapore waters, NParks’ in situ coral nursery will be established within the JTC-NParks Reef Garden. The nursery will play an important role in the conservation of coral species, so that locally rare corals that may be threatened by, for example, coral bleaching, can be moved to a controlled environment to ensure their survival. The reef structures will also provide opportunities for various research initiatives and serve as test beds for new technologies to study coral reef resilience. 

(Sources: National Parks Board, Singapore; Straits Times)

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Singapore Launches New Agency To Facilitate Regional Infrastructure Collaboration

Singapore  -  November 2018

At Enterprise Singapore’s 8th Asia-Singapore Infrastructure Roundtable (ASIR) in Singapore on 23 October, Enterprise Singapore and the Monetary Authority of Singapore officially launched a new agency called Infrastructure Asia to support regional infrastructure development. Plans for the agency were announced earlier this year in February. Infrastructure Asia will serve as a bridge for different industry players across the infrastructure ecosystem, multilateral development banks (MDBs) and the public sector, and be a one-stop platform for the information exchange and sharing of best practices in Asia. 

At the launch, Infrastructure Asia signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to foster partnerships. The first is an MoU with the World Bank Group to leverage each other’s networks and expertise to drive knowledge building and exchange within Asia. They will also work together to help Asian countries strengthen capacities for infrastructure project structuring, financing, implementation and operation. The second is an MoU with Singapore Business Federation to i) enhance visibility of regional project opportunities for Singapore-based companies through workshops and marketing initiatives; ii) market and match Singapore-based companies equipped with relevant technical, financial and/or professional services solutions to project opportunities. 

A 2017 report from the Asian Development Bank estimated that Asia will need more than USD 1.7 trillion of infrastructure per year from 2016 to 2030. It also found that infrastructure, mining and oil and gas projects have on average cost 80% more than budgeted and run 20 months late.

To address these issues, Singapore's Ministry of Law announced the Singapore Infrastructure Dispute-Management Protocol to help parties involved in mega infrastructure projects manage disputes and minimise the risks of time and cost overruns. The Protocol is expected to help parties proactively manage differences to prevent them from escalating into disputes. Under the new protocol, parties will from the start of the project appoint a Dispute Board comprising up to three neutral professionals who are experts in relevant fields such as engineering, quantity surveying and law. The Dispute Board will follow the project from start to finish and proactively help to manage issues that may arise, through a range of customised dispute avoidance and resolution processes.  The new protocol has attracted interest from parties who are keen to incorporate it into their projects. These projects are estimated to be worth SGD 500 million (USD 360 million) or more. 

(Sources: Enterprise Singapore; Ministry of Law, Singapore; Business Times)

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Dyson To Manufacture Electric Cars In Singapore

Singapore  -  November 2018

UK-based manufacturer of household appliance, Dyson, announced recently that it is going to set up a plant in Singapore for making electric cars. Construction of the plant is scheduled to begin in December 2018 and finish in 2020. The first cars expected to roll off the assembly line by early 2021. The manufacturing facility is described as "a highly sophisticated one, using the latest technologies, including robotics and automation".

Dyson, which is renowned for its stick battery-powered vacuum cleaners and bladeless fans, revealed plans for an electric car last year. In the process of innovating and engineering these household products and others, it is aquired expertise in the areas of electric motors, rechargeable solid-state batteries , and navigation system (for its robotic vacuum cleaner). The Dyson motor used in its V10 cordless vacuum, spins at 125,000rpm – approximately eight times faster than the engine of an Formula One car. The company already manufactures around 6% of all rechargeable batteries in the world. The company plans to leverage on its expertise in these areas and scale them up to build its electric car. It plans to invest £2.5 billion (USD 3.25 billion) towards the venture.

Media reports suggested that unlike all car manufacturers which source parts from suppliers, Dyson is planning to make every part itself. In the current uncertain trade environment, that could be an advantage. In August 2018, Dyson revelead plans for a 10-mile test track for its electric vehicles in Wiltshire, UK. 

In  a Facebook post, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that Dyson has selected Singapore for its expertise in advanced manufacturing, global and regional connectivity, and the quality of research scientists and engineers. Dyson has been operating in Singapore for over 10 years. Staring with a small, focused engineering team. today Dyson employs more than 1,000 people in its Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Centres. In 2017, Dyson announcedan addiitonal investment of £330 million (USD 430 million) into a new R&D centre in Singapore.

(Sources: Economic Development Board, Singapore; Straits Times; Channel NewsAsia; BBC; GQ)

Military army ready helicopter


DSTA And NUS Enterprise Partner To Develop New Security Solutions

Singapore  -  November 2018

Speaking at the Defence Technology Prize Award Ceremony  on 30 October 2018, the Minister for Defence, Dr. Ng Eng Hen, announced a new partnership between the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and NUS Enterprise, to work with local start-ups for the development of new defence and security solutions. An open collaboration space called [email protected], will be set up by the end of 2018 at the startup hub, JTC LaunchPad, to partner local start-ups in Artificial Intelligence (AI), data science, robotics and augmented reality. 

DSTA, a statutory board under MINDEF, harnesses science and technology, and provides technological and engineering support to meet the defence and national security needs of Singapore. NUS Enterprise is the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS). 

Technological achievements recognized at the award ceremony included securing systems against hardware Trojans, tracking and identifying maritime intrusions, reducing the chance of friendly fire and collateral damage, development of an Integrated Strike Command and Control (C2) System , and the development of a fully unmanned surface vessel designed to navigate Singapore's heavily congested waters autonomously and conduct a wide range of missions from coastal patrols to underwater surveillance.

(Sources: Ministry of Defence, Singapore; Straits Times)

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Singapore's First 'Phygital' Store Launched

Singapore  -  November 2018

Leading real estate developer, CapitaLand, launched Singapore's first 'phygital' (physical + digital) store, called NomadX, on 8 November. The multi-label concept store in the Plaza Singapura mall, aims to offer a new blend of physical and digital experience. The shopper journey begins with an onboarding gamification process using facial recognition technology, whereby members of CapitaLand’s CapitaStar programme can opt to register their visits and win attractive gifts and STAR$®.  Based on their profiles and preferences, shoppers will be assigned to one of four tribes – Sea, Mountain, Forest, and Wind – which correspond to The Enigmatic Shopper, The Conquer-It-All Shopper, the Love the Earth Shopper and the Live-It-Up Shopper profiles respectively.  Each shopper profile is tied to a proposed shopping route, as well as product and deal recommendations.

With touchscreen televisions provided by Samsung, shoppers interact with product walls using QR codes as part of NomadX’s screen-to-mobile customer engagement capability. Inside NomadX, Sony powers a Sonic Surf VR (SSVR) audio technology that combines multi-channel speakers and proprietary software to simulate surround and partitioning sounds for an immersive aural experience.  In addition, Sony Music Entertainment Singapore has curated a bespoke NomadX playlist, while Oo La Lab has created a customized lust and green scent. Based on their preferences and the number of visits, visitors to NomadX will be rewarded with exclusive CapitaStar e-deals and STAR$®, which are accessible via the CapitaStar app and redeemable in-store.  NomadX adopts a cashless payment system. In addition to payment by credit cards, NomadX accepts ePayment modes such as StarPay – the in-app ePayment feature on CapitaStar – and NETS.

Retailers can set up temporary homes (like nomads) as NomadX incorporates short-term leases and “plug & play” retail units that are integrated with smart retail infrastructure.  This includes interactive technologies to encourage product discovery and play. The store’s fluid layout and data analytics capabilities are expected to make NomadX a suitable testbed for retailers to trial new concepts and products and respond swiftly to consumer reception and feedback.

NomadX opened with a curated selection of 18 tenants offering a wide range of fashion, beauty, consumer electronics, gadgets and food & beverage offerings.  These include the first physical outlets in Singapore for Alibaba’s Taobao, as well as that of online fashion businesses Digital Fashion Week, evenodd, Révolte and Style Theory.  New-to-market brands include audio products specialist JBL and restaurant Bizen Okayama Wagyu Steakhouse by Aston Soon.

(Sources: CapitaLand; Singapore Business Review)

(Image: CapitaLand)


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