Some of the gloom generated here by ominous trends in the global economy, such as the trade war between the United States and China, should be lifted by the announcement that an estimated 10,000 new tech-related jobs are expected in the private sector over the next three years. This is due in part to a new government office that will encourage public-private partnerships to help companies keep up with and benefit from technological advancements. The Digital Industry Singapore (DISG) office will transform the way the Government engages with the technology sector by serving as a single interface for the industry. This streamlined approach will enable the office to help companies secure talent and market access, build capabilities and expand overseas.
More than the promise of 10,000 new jobs - important though they are - is the DISG's potential in improving the prospects of smaller companies in particular. Many of them may not have the expertise and resources to devote to the digitalisation process. The office should be a boon as well for companies that need to look for opportunities or to export their expertise beyond the Singapore market. In Asean and elsewhere, there is demand for a range of digital and technical services. More Singapore firms should be prepared to become players in this new realm. Already, Singapore is home to 80 of the top 100 global technology companies, and more than 4,000 home-grown and international start-ups from around the world.