Singapore has launched a refreshed Information and Communications (I&C) Industry Transformation Map that is expected to create 80,000 well-paying jobs and contribute a value-added compound annual growth rate of between 5-7 percent by 2025.
Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Lawrence Wong, announce the refreshed I&C Industry Transformation Map (ITM) on Friday at the Singapore Computer Society’s (SCS’) 55th Anniversary Gala Dinner & Tech Leader Awards 2023.
The original Infocomm Media (ICM) ITM was launched in 2017 and set out strategies that would contribute to the robust growth of the sector.
According to the Ministry of Manpower, as of December 2020, the ICM sector has employed more than 245,000 workers, of which 30,000 were new resident professionals, managers, executives and technician (PMET) jobs.
This has surpassed the initial target of 210,000 workers and 13,000 new PMET jobs, the Ministry said.
Despite the Covid-19-induced slowdown in the sector’s growth, the ICM sector has seen a nominal growth rate of 7.9 percent from 2015 to 2021, which exceeded the initial target of 6 percent, according to Singapore’s Department of Statistics.
The DPM said the refreshed I&C ITM, developed by Digital Industry Singapore (DISG), will build on the momentum of the earlier ITM.
It aims to develop a strong and resilient I&C sector to power the growth of Singapore's Digital Economy and strengthen its position as a hub for leading tech companies and talent, he added.
DISG is an alliance between the Economic Development Board (EDB), Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) whose aim is to lead tech industry development in Singapore.
The refreshed ITM will have a sharper focus on sectors such as software, IT services, online services and telecommunications.
The strategies will put the I&C ITM on track to achieve a real value added (VA) compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5-7 percent, and a real VA per worker CAGR of 1.5-3 percent from 2020 to 2025, the DPM said.
This is expected to result in the number of well-paying jobs in the I&C industry, growing to 80,000 by 2025, creating good opportunities for Singapore and Singaporeans, he added.
DPM Wong said Singapore will continue to invest in and build capabilities in key technologies where it has competitive strengths.
One specific area mentioned by him was Artificial Intelligence (AI).
“We’ve been talking about generative AI for some time, but we have seen such rapid developments in recent years that suggest that we are at an inflexion point,” the Minister said.
He cited the example of AI Singapore which has already built up considerable strengths.
“Our AI research is ranked amongst the top in the world in terms of publication impact, and we have developed capabilities in key fields such as Natural Language Processing and Computer Vision, which are foundational technologies that have widespread applications,” the Minister said.
DISG will adopt a range of enterprise development strategies to support companies in capturing growth opportunities in the sector:
- For tech multinational corporations (MNCs), DISG will deepen their value generation by anchoring their research and product development in Singapore and strengthening their linkages with the local ecosystem.
- For local companies, DISG will grow local digital champions into globally competitive industry leaders by deepening their strategic capabilities and intensifying internationalisation efforts.
- DISG will widen our stable of fast-growth companies by attracting highly innovative start-ups globally and nurturing spinoffs from our Research Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) ecosystem.
Apart from AI, the government will also invest in enabling technologies to carve out a niche in cybersecurity and trust technologies.
DISG will also focus on the competitiveness and attractiveness of the country's business ecosystem to globally competitive I&C companies that are keen to capitalise on Asia’s growth, the government said.