Senior Minister of State Tan Kiat How: Tech ecosystem can flourish with the right talents and skillsets

Senior Minister of State Tan Kiat How stated that the tech ecosystem cannot grow and flourish without the right people, skillsets, and opportunities.

Presenting his opening remarks on the first day of Echelon X today, the senior minister of state explained how Singapore has generated “good job opportunities” in the digital sector.

“Today we have around 210,000 tech professionals; an increase of over seven per cent over the last five years. Good opportunities and vibrant growth in our digital economy bring new jobs and innovation. This growth is not just in Singapore, but a reflection of the overall and broader growth in our region, Southeast Asia,” he said.

Tan presented the existing programmes that Singapore has run to support the tech ecosystem by investing in people. One such programme is the tech skills accelerator, which aims to help individuals who want to either transition into tech roles or upskill themselves to remain relevant.

“Specifically for AI, we started initiatives such as the AI Apprenticeship Programme under AI Singapore, which is bringing together different universities in Singapore to grow AI talent,” Tan said, adding that 80 per cent of participants have secured AI jobs before graduation.

“The future is here, and it’s exciting. We want to partner with all of you to grow the ecosystem in Singapore and support the broader growth of the digital economy in the region and beyond.”

Also Read: Is Vietnam Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing digital economy?

Building the tech ecosystem through partnerships

Thanks to its open markets and pragmatic regulatory environment, Singapore has long been recognised as a premier location for conducting business. These factors have consistently fostered business development and attracted global enterprises.

Last year, Singapore took a significant step forward by introducing its Digital Connectivity Blueprint. This initiative aims to guide the nation’s digital infrastructure and services investments, ensuring that Singapore remains at the forefront of technological advancements. Additionally, the country updated its National AI Strategy to harness the benefits of the latest wave of AI innovations locally and globally.

The government’s commitment to technological advancement is further evidenced by the upcoming launch of the Digital Enterprise Blueprint later this month. This new initiative will outline strategies and initiatives designed to help industries and enterprises adopt new technologies, driving the next phase of the digital economy.

Singapore aims to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and bolster the economy by focusing on digital transformation. Such efforts are expected to maintain the nation’s competitive edge in the global market and stimulate further economic growth.

Collaborations with tech giants are a testament to Singapore’s proactive approach to innovation. For instance, a partnership with Google under the Google AI Trailblazers programme has developed over 100 AI use cases across both public and private sectors.

Furthermore, major tech companies are making significant investments, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), which recently announced an additional investment of US$12 billion to expand its cloud infrastructure and services in Singapore over the coming years. These initiatives and investments underscore Singapore’s commitment to becoming a global digital innovation and enterprise leader.

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