Singapore, a small country situated in the south of Malay Peninsula, is so scarced both in terms of citizens and resources. But this small country in AEC can stand among the world’s economic leaders.
One of the major strengths of Singapore is Information Technology and Communications. It is planned as strategic advancement of the country and gains continuous improvement. So there is no surprise to see Singapore in the list, not just in Asia, but of the world’s leaders in ICT.
Global Information Technology Report 2010/2011 from World Economic Forum ranked Singapore as the second most network-ready country in the world, and the No. 1 in Asia. In 2010, ICT sector in Singapore generated 1.78 trillion baht (500 billion USD).
IDA or Infocomm Development Authority in Singapore plays strategic roles in ICT investment in the country, and is pushed as the tool to drive productivity and economy of the whole nation.
Master Plan: iN2015
Intelligent Nation 2015 Master Plan or iN2015 serves as the master plan for infocomm industry of the country to escalate Singapore as smart city of the world. One clear progress shown is Next Generation National Infocomm Infrastructure or Next Gen NII as national network, which can handle huge bandwidth of over 1 Gbps. And also the cyber security plans to protect ICT resources were set too.
This master plan which has been defined since May 2005 is a 10-year plan to become No. 1 in Infocomm in the world and is to increase ICT revenue to 1.8 trillion baht(5.6 billion USD). Apart from that, it aims to generate at least 80,000 ICT jobs, to raise the broadband coverage to be 90%, and to ensure that 100% of families with kid(s) have PC(s) in their houses.
From several figures and statistics in recent years, Singapore should achieve their objectives in ease, and most of them were from ICT export sector. In 2001, ICT revenue in Singapore and foreign ICT export were at the same level, while in 2012, 76% of Infocomm revenues were from foreign countries.
Technology and ICT indexes show several achievements for Singapore as follow:
• No. 2 in Global Information Technology Report (GITR) of World Economic Forum since 2010-2013
• No. 2 in Global Competitive Index (GCI) of World Economic Forum since 2011-2013
• No. 3 in Benchmarking IT Industry of Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in 2011
• No. 1 in International e-Government Ranking of Waseda University since 2009-2013
Conquering ICT world
Some may say Singapore has advantages in statistics and indexes because of the small country size. It is true that technology infrastructure can be implemented and cover most areas in the country, more easily than its neighbors. Strong financial and business sectors in Singapore also set the strengths for investment stream, plus the stability of politics, so everything is going in the same direction and as planned.
Whatever the reasons are, without good visions and strong attention, it is hard to bring Singapore in front of most other countries in the world.
Most development plans from government sectors clearly show where, when, and how this little country will go. Visions were defined clearly and strategically such as Next Gen NII as main network infrastructure or Infocomm Technology Roadmap 2012, which include themes from Big Data, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, ICT and Sustainability, Comms of the Future, Social Media, New Digital Economy, User Interface to Internet of Things.
These ICT trends are widely known, but it is about how we get along with these trends and put them into action. That will define the success of long term ICT development of a country.
No one can deny that Singapore is No. 1 in SEA in ICT. And it is crystal clear for the next 5-10 years.
The Merlion will still conquer the world !!