Singapore sees RM362b digital economy as key to more growth

SINGAPORE’S digital economy has expanded to about US$77.5 billion (RM362.39 billion), or 17.3% of GDP, and should continue to drive growth in coming years, according to a new government report. 

The adoption of cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) by businesses stands out among a series of tech-driven changes over the past five years, the inaugural Singapore Digital Economy Report said. 

The information and communications sector was the city-state’s fastest-growing over that time, though increasing digitalisation by other industries is also helping add value. The report estimated the size of Singapore’s digital economy at US$77.5 billion as of 2022. 

Demand for tech professionals in Singapore has benefitted local workers — which fill more than 70% of tech roles — and has remained robust even after taking a hit from the series of layoffs by global companies over the past year. Salaries in the sector, which employs 200,000, are significantly above Singapore’s median wage and the gap has grown since 2017. 

Major US firms like Meta Platforms Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google have made their regional headquarters in the city, helping drive up salaries in competition with local startups like Grab Holdings Ltd. Meta and Google are 

also collaborating on a major undersea cable project that will link Singapore to the US west coast. 

Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has the task of plotting the course for its digital future and enhancing the city-state’s role as a tech hub. Among the IMDA’s roles are regulator and backer of research and development projects. The IMDA co-authored the digital economy report with the National University of Singapore. Bloomberg 

  • This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition