RealTime IT News

Making Singapore.com A Reality

The Singapore government has implemented four strategies to make Singapore.com a reality but there is still a long way to go in realizing the goal, Singapore deputy prime minister Tony Tan Keng Yam said over the weekend.

The four strategies pertain to education, facilities, regulations and financing, he said. These strategies are embodied under the Singapore Technopreneurship 21 initiative.

"We cannot guarantee success but we are building a good platform and we have made an encouraging start. We are aware that despite our best efforts, we may not succeed but we know that if we do not try then we shall surely fail," said Tan at the ISS Lecture in London.

In the speech which was released by the Ministry of Information and the Arts, Tan said Singapore has succeeded in becoming a physical hub in the region which will help building the e-commerce sector as it will involve the delivery of goods.

But Singapore needs to do more in making the Singapore.com a reality. Education is a key building block in helping the island realize the vision of Singapore.com, he said.

The Ministry of Education has identified the education system we want to produce -- "Thinking Schools and Learning Nation."

"This is what we need to be. So major changes have been made to our curriculum" like those in the university, he said. Facilities is another key area, which includes the creation of the Buona Vista Science Hub and attracting major universities and schools like John Hopkins, MIT and Insead to set up shop in Singapore, he said.

Singapore is also looking at its rules and regulations to create the necessary "soft infrastructure" for Singapore.com, he said.

"By reviewing these (rules and regulations), we aim to create a supportive environment for technoprenuers to grow their businesses, by removing the obstacles they face," he said.

In the area of financing, the government has created a US$1 billion Technoprenuership Investment Fund (TIF), which will be instrumental in building the Singapore.com initiative, he said.

"The purpose of establishing the TIF is not to have the government duplicate or compete with private venture capital funds, but to attract the people who are able to assess the commercial viability of technology ideas and help start-up companies grow," he said.

"The don't.com world is upon us (Singapore). We can't stop it," said Tan. "What we need to do is to react to changes rationally, not to abandon our old strengths, but to balance them by building on our traditional strengths to take hold of new capabilities and opportunities," he said.