Singapore digitalizes supply chain to unlock full potential

Speaking at the opening address of the ATxSummit, Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, Heng Swee Keat announced July 13 that Singapore will be stepping up investments to unlock the full potential of the digital revolution through collective action.

Investment in research and innovation is key to building solutions for the future and staying at the forefront of the digital economy. Singapore will invest close to S$70 million (US$50 million) under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) plan, to launch the first national Future Communications Research & Development Program (FCP).

The FCP supports cutting edge communications and connectivity research, and will in turn grow local capability to translate that into innovative products, services, and companies. This will be accomplished through the setup of new communications testbeds in 5G and beyond-5G, and support technology development, translation and training, while building up the talent pool in the areas of communications and connectivity technologies. As a start, the FCP has established a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the 6G Flagship Office of Finland.

The pandemic has accelerated the overall shift to digital. Building a common “digital infrastructure” to underpin and ease data sharing will enable multiple stakeholders to come together and drive economic transformation. A new common data infrastructure and framework, the Singapore Trade Data Exchange, or SGTraDex was therefore launched to enable this trusted sharing of trade data. Designed as a neutral and open digital infrastructure through a public-private partnership, it was conceptualized by the Alliance for Action (AfA) on Supply Chain Digitalization. SGTraDex will support ecosystem- wide digital transformation, connecting supply chain ecosystems both locally and globally.

Three initial use cases were developed to push the boundaries of a trusted data exchange. The use cases demonstrated how SGTraDex can enable participants to strengthen the financing integrity of trade flows, enhance operational efficiency by optimizing logistics functions across partners, and provide visibility on supply chain transactions. The use cases have the potential to unlock more than S$200 million (US$150 million) of value annually when fully developed.

SGTraDex will continue to build on this initial momentum, develop more use cases, and drive adoption locally and globally. SGTraDex also has the flexibility to be the data infrastructure for many other sectors ranging from construction to aviation, unlocking even more potential value. This is part of a suite of digital infrastructure and utilities being developed, including the SGFinDex for the financial sector, that provides a strong foundation for Singapore’s Digital Economy.

Singapore Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo also signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) with Japan and an MOU with Thailand, at the sidelines of the ATxSummit. The MOC seeks to strengthen ICT collaboration between Singapore and Japan, enabling closer policy alignment and regulation on businesses. The MOC will facilitate a pilot project on electronic transferable records and the exchange of information on best practices and policies relating to the Digital Economy, Artificial Intelligence, and cybersecurity. It also includes closer collaborations through joint training and programs on AI implementation, AI governance and ethics, as well as cybersecurity capacity building.

The longstanding Thailand-Singapore relationship will deepen with the signing of this MOU, which has been expanded to include new areas of cooperation in the Digital Economy such as digital connectivity, smart cities and AI governance. Both sides are also exploring interoperability between digital systems and frameworks that enable e-documentation.

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