5-pronged plan to develop Singapore as global e-commerce hub: Chan Chun Sing

The new Amazon training programmes would cover capabilities like listing optimisation and customer service. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Enterprise Singapore (ESG) is in active discussions with Amazon on new training programmes to equip local small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sell overseas via the e-commerce giant.

The programmes would cover capabilities like listing optimisation, customer service, and international demand generation, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said on Thursday (Jan 28).

The initiative is part of a five-pronged strategy to promote Singapore's status as a regional and global e-commerce hub.

"The borderless world of e-commerce presents fresh opportunities that are up for grabs by all who are willing to try. Technology is neutral. Businesses that can master it faster and better, win," said the minister in a speech at Amazon's South-east Asia Online Seller Summit.

The minister noted that online sales in Singapore as a proportion of total retail sales value had risen since the start of 2020 amid the pandemic, from 5.8 per cent in January to 14.3 per cent in November.

Outlining Singapore's e-commerce strategy, Mr Chan said the Government will introduce two nationwide 5G networks by 2025, to enable infrastructure capacity to deal with large online sales orders internationally. Firms are also encouraged to adopt digital solutions such as E-Invoicing Network and PayNow Corporate.

Second, he said the Government is working with businesses to build strong supply chain capabilities, including developing value-added and specialised capabilities in areas such as cold-chain management, retail and pharmaceutical logistics.

Third, the Government is ramping up security to protect businesses against cyber security threats. Singapore also has Digital Economy Agreements (DEAs) with New Zealand, Australia and Chile to improve digital connectivity and ensure secure data flows between countries.

It is currently in discussions with other countries, such as South Korea and Britain.
Fourth, the Government will support local businesses in gaining e-commerce capabilities and maximising their growth opportunities from the digital economy.

Grow Digital, for example, is an initiative by the Infocomm Media Development Authority and ESG to help businesses venture into e-commerce and increase their customer base internationally. Businesses may also seek grant support from ESG's Market Readiness Assistance scheme to expand into new foreign markets.

Finally, the Government will continue to ensure that policies in place to overcome Covid-19 are effective to ensure that businesses are able to continue operations with minimal disruption.


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