Transforming Singapore’s I&C industry

Powering a global-Asia digital hub

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Lawrence Wong, recently launched the refreshed Infocomm and Media (I&C) Industry Transformation Map (ITM) in Singapore. The ITM aims to develop a strong and resilient I&C sector to drive the growth of the Digital Economy and reinforce Singapore’s position as a hub for leading tech companies and talent.

The refreshed ITM builds upon the strategies set out in the previous ICM ITM launched in 2017, which contributed to the robust growth of the sector. Despite the impact of COVID-19, the I&C sector rebounded and achieved a nominal growth rate of 7.9 per cent from 2015 to 2021, surpassing the initial target of 6 per cent. As of December 2020, the sector employed over 245,000 workers, with 30,000 being new resident PMETs (Professionals, Managers, Executives, and Technicians), exceeding the initial target of 210,000 workers and 13,000 new PMET jobs.

The refreshed ITM, developed by Digital Industry Singapore (DISG), focuses on the I&C sector, including sub-sectors such as software, IT services, online services, and telecommunications. The strategies outlined in the refreshed ITM aim to achieve a real Value Added (VA) Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5 per cent to 7 per cent and a real VA per worker CAGR of 1.5 per cent to 3 per cent from 2020 to 2025. The goal is to create 80,000 well-paying jobs in the I&C industry by 2025, offering opportunities for Singaporeans.

Key initiatives and strategies under the refreshed ITM include:

  • Strengthening the global interconnectedness of Singapore’s Digital Economy:
    • Expanding the network of Digital Economy Agreements (DEA) to promote cross-border data flows and establish digital collaboration norms.
    • Deepening digital integration and connectivity in Southeast Asia, building on existing efforts to advance the ASEAN Digital Framework Agreement.
    • Leveraging flagship events such as Asia Tech x Singapore (ATxSG) and Singapore International Cyber Week (SICW) to foster collaboration through innovation and standards development.
  • Supporting tech enterprises to capture higher local Value Added (VA):
    • Deepening value generation for tech multinational corporations (MNCs) by anchoring research and product development in Singapore and strengthening linkages with the local ecosystem.
    • Growing local digital champions into globally competitive industry leaders by enhancing their strategic capabilities and intensifying internationalization efforts.
    • Attracting highly innovative start-ups globally and nurturing spinoffs from Singapore’s Research Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) ecosystem.
  • Increasing investments in technology innovation to support R&D and translation efforts:
    • Investing in key enabling technologies such as AI, future communications, cybersecurity, and trust technologies.
    • Encouraging industry-led innovation through initiatives like the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore’s (CSA) Cybersecurity Industry Call for Innovation and the formation of joint labs.
  • Creating good jobs in the I&C sector and upskilling initiatives:
    • Enhancing initiatives under the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) program to strengthen the digital workforce through Continuing Education and Training (CET) and Pre-Employment Training (PET) interventions.
    • Broad-based upskilling on digital skills, company-led training, and tech immersion and placement programs.
    • Increasing the intake of Information & Digital Technologies (IDT) courses in universities, polytechnics, and ITE to build a pipeline of tech talent.

To achieve the objectives of the refreshed ITM, collaboration among industry players, institutes of higher learning (IHLs), and trade associations is crucial. Co-designing and co-delivering curriculum.



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