SINGAPORE – Covid-19 has created unprecedented momentum for digital adoption among businesses and individuals in Singapore, and the country can create new opportunities in the post-pandemic virtual realm if it leverages its strengths.
In a report released on Monday, May 17, the Emerging Stronger Taskforce suggested delivering digital services in areas that harness Singapore’s strengths of trust, speed, consistency and coordination at the systems level.
“We have always found ways for our economy to transcend our physical borders – as a major airline hub, international maritime hub, financial and professional services hub and trusted gateway to Asia. We must now do the same in the virtual world. kingdom, ”said the task force, which was set up last May to guide Singapore’s economic recovery from the pandemic.
In its report, the task force said it envisions Singapore expanding its Smart Nation aspirations globally to unlock “virtually limitless opportunities” for businesses and talent, as well as cities.
Drawing up the plans, he said companies need to act quickly to sell their products and services overseas so they can expand and create new markets.
These digital services may include the provision of business-to-business professional services such as security and diagnostics to digital businesses.
For example, the Grow Digital initiative launched by Infocomm Media Development Authority and Enterprise Singapore in June 2020 helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sell goods abroad through e-commerce platforms.
There are also opportunities for physical retailers and e-commerce platforms to work together through partnerships, said Lee Chee Koon, CEO of CapitaLand Group, who co-leads the Alliance for Action (AfA) on facilitation. of smart commerce.
He cited a collaboration between CapitaLand and Shopee, Sea Ltd’s e-commerce platform, when CapitaLand’s IMM mall debuted as Shopee’s first virtual mall in Singapore in February. This has allowed IMM retailers to reach a wider audience and they have had good sales results, Mr. Lee said.
“It was a very encouraging sign (which) shows how online and offline players can work together,” he added.
From the perspective of a global remote workforce, training institutions in Singapore, such as higher education institutes and corporate academies, as well as technology players and start-ups, can also expand their markets by providing a virtual training service globally.
For example, corporate academies offering industry-relevant training may scale up their operations to provide training to local SMEs and foreign learners, where appropriate.
“This would allow Singaporean companies to identify and attract regional and global talent, and equip Singaporean SMEs to go international,” the task force said.
In addition, Singapore can also redefine itself as a safe and smart city for commerce, business, work and leisure by harnessing technology to lay the groundwork for a safe travel recovery.
In doing so, it can gain the trust of governments, industries and consumers, which can further enhance its relevance to the world.
For example, the Alliance for Action on Enabling Safe and Innovative Visitor Experiences worked on solutions to facilitate the gradual resumption of activities in the tourism sector, which has been hit hard by travel restrictions.
This includes developing a web application as a one-stop resource that can help travelers and industry manage pre-arrival procedures and post-arrival itineraries.
Singapore Hotel Association president Kwee Wei-Lin, who co-chairs the alliance, said the AfA, which is made up of public agencies, private companies and unions, is helping the industry to remain fast and agile in their approach to transformation.
The task force said Singapore must resist the forces of anti-globalization and protectionism by remaining open – especially to global talents and skills – in order to realize this vision of drawing new virtual frontiers for the economy.
“(This is) so that businesses can access the best ideas and understand consumers and businesses beyond our shores, and Singaporeans can continue to learn from the best in the world.”
Another key challenge will be to ensure that small businesses and Singaporeans operating in the most domestically oriented economic sectors can also access opportunities to serve and work with the best in the world, the task force said. .
“At the same time, we will also have to reflect on the new standards and strategic capacities that we must build to secure our place and prosper in our new virtual borders,” he added.