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Outlook for ICT positive – Singapore’s IT chief

Veronica C. Silva | March 9, 2011
Nation looking at IT to spur economic growth

SINGAPORE, 9 MARCH 2011 – Despite uncertainty in the global economic arena, Singapore is optimistic as it banks on ICT to spur economic growth. The island republic, which has been cited in global studies as a Southeast Asian leader in IT, has been predicted to grow its economy, in general, and its IT sector, in particular.

Speaking at the recently concluded Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) ICT Business Forum, Singapore’s IT chief said the country’s strategy in growing its economy is to watch out for key IT trends and study how they can capitalise on these.

“To ensure Singapore's competitive edge in the infocomm landscape, we are continually scanning for key ICT trends, and see how we could capitalise on these trends for further economic growth,” said Ronnie Tay, chief executive officer, IDA Singapore. “Developments in the international arena would give us insights on what the world is looking for, enabling us to appropriately position the industry for such opportunities.”

Singapore is expecting to grow its economy to between four and six per cent this year. As of the third quarter last year, its IT industry contributed 7.4 per cent to the GDP (gross domestic product), with value-add growing at 13 per cent. This year, the country’s IT spending is expected to grow 6.8 per cent, according to independent analyst firm IDC.

Industry trends

Among the key IT trends that Singapore is monitoring are mobility, cloud computing, a national broadband infrastructure and convergence, to name a few.

Along these areas, Singapore is already taking steps to stay ahead of the game by rolling out projects and putting in place policies to help the industry grow.

Tay reported that its Next Gen NBN initiative is on track to connect homes and businesses by 2012. The initiative is already 60 per cent complete with service providers already offering services using the high bandwidth, nationwide and open infrastructure, one of the first few in the works in the region. Other service providers and application developers have been invited to submit proposals on how to better make use of the network.

Just last December, the IDA and the Media Development Authority have called for proposals from companies which can build a platform for video-based content, application and services using the NBN. The applications can range from interactive TV services to cloud-based gaming. Tay said they expect to award contracts this month.

He added that the infrastructure initiatives are working in parallel with related initiatives such as security measures, human resource development and even environmental protection with the country’s green ICT initiatives.

 

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