Let S'pore be known as launching pad for new technologies

Singapore has aspirations to be a Smart Nation. It is a technology hub and has long welcomed innovation.

Since Uber came to Singapore in 2013, commuters have embraced the service, and drivers have taken up the challenge of working for the company.

This year, bike-sharing companies gave Singapore commuters a new, convenient and affordable option.

We are fortunate to have these companies launch their services here.

We have the chance to work with them in fine-tuning their models and to be the launching pad for disruptive technologies that will contribute to our economic growth and bring about opportunities that would have been difficult for our limited talent pool to generate.

I encourage the Government to take the lead to be the "change master" and rally the whole nation around these initiatives, before some other city steals the show.

For example, to address the bicycle parking problem, the network of residents' committees can be rallied to sort it out for each of their estates.

We need to seize the opportunity to be known as the city-state that makes disruptive technologies work, leveraging our government and citizen partnerships.

We then have the chance to boost our economy with more disruptive technologies, including autonomous vehicles, drones, blockchain and cashless payment methods.

Liu Fook Thim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 17, 2017, with the headline 'Let S'pore be known as launching pad for new technologies'. Print Edition | Subscribe