Singapore is positioning itself as a global e-commerce hub focusing on innovation and infrastructural support. Government initiatives and grants aim to boost e-commerce investment. Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing unveiled a strategy to make Singapore a regional and global player in the field.
Singapore has long stood out as a premier destination for international companies looking to set up regional headquarters. A joint report by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company predicts a substantial growth trajectory for Singapore’s e-commerce industry, estimating its value to reach US$22 billion by 2025. Its tax and legal systems are acknowledged worldwide as exceptionally favourable for investors, and its financial industry is deeply interconnected with global markets.
Here, we outline significant initiatives companies can harness to navigate and thrive in the online business landscape.
Inside This Article:
Initiatives by Singapore government for E-Commerce Business:
- Retail Industry Transformation Map (ITM)
- Singapore’s government, embracing e-commerce as an ally rather than a competitor to physical retail, initiated the Retail ITM in 2016.
- Key strategies under the ITM focus on fostering innovation, agility, and technology adoption in the retail sector.
- Initiatives like the 99% SME collaboration project aim to integrate physical retailers into the digital landscape, offering online platforms for SME retailers.
- Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE)
- ACE, a private-led initiative established in 2014, supports e-commerce SMEs in expanding their networks and acquiring industry-specific skills.
- Programs include networking, mentorship, legal clinics, and accounting workshops.
- ACE International Centre (ACEIC) facilitates international growth and partnerships, connecting SMEs to global networks.
- Networked Trade Platform (NTP)
- The NTP is a trade information management platform that enhances e-commerce efficiency by streamlining processes and reducing manual trade document exchange.
- Partnering with CrimsonLogic, the platform aids in digitizing trade documents, improving compliance processes, and increasing trade efficiency.
- Benefits for SMEs include reduced customs checks, saving time and money, and access to digital services for improved capabilities.
- SkillsFuture Skills Framework for Retail
- Recognizing the need for skilled talent in e-commerce, SkillsFuture has expanded to include a retail-specific skills framework.
- The framework provides sector information, career pathways, and training programs tailored to the needs of the e-commerce and omnichannel retail sector.
- Employers can utilize the framework to identify and invest in specific skills, ensuring employee development and career advancement in the dynamic e-commerce industry.
Government Strategies for E-Commerce Business in Singapore:
- Strengthening Digital Infrastructure:
- Prioritizing enhancements in digital connectivity, data analytics, payment systems, and fostering new business innovation.
- A key focus is developing 5G infrastructure, with plans for 50% coverage within two years and two nationwide 5G networks by 2025.
- Enabling increased bandwidth to handle larger e-commerce orders efficiently.
- Secure Digital Landscape:
- Intensifying cybersecurity capabilities to protect businesses and ensure secure cross-border data flow.
- Signing the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) with New Zealand and Chile, the world’s first digital-only trade agreement.
- Developing international frameworks to support cross-border digital trade and e-commerce, promoting paperless trade and interoperable e-payment solutions.
- Robust Supply Chain Capabilities:
- Leveraging the growth of e-commerce, it is better to integrate the logistics sector with global supply chains.
- Specializing in value-added capabilities such as cold chain management and pharmaceutical logistics.
- Encouraging Digitalization of Businesses:
- Increasing efforts to digitalize local SMEs and maximize their potential in the digital economy.
- Initiatives like the SMEs Go Digital Program aid over 50,000 SMEs in adopting digital solutions.
- Collaborations with leading e-commerce platforms (Amazon, Lazada, Qoo10, Shopee) through programs like the E-Commerce Booster Package.
- Supporting Singaporean sellers’ international market access, such as the US, India, and Canada, through collaborations and the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) scheme.
As a consultancy firm specializing in digital transformation, Singapore’s strategic initiatives provide a promising business landscape. The Retail Industry Transformation Map (ITM) fosters collaboration between traditional and e-commerce, while the emphasis on cybersecurity and international trade agreements ensures a secure and globally connected environment. This signifies opportunities in omni-channel retail for our clients, enhanced customer experiences, and streamlined cross-border transactions. Singapore’s focus on logistics and digitalizing SMEs aligns seamlessly with our consultancy’s expertise, offering a compelling proposition for businesses looking to thrive in the evolving e-commerce sector.
FAQs on Government Initiatives and Strategies for E‑commerce Business in Singapore
- The NTP is an advanced trade information management platform introduced by IRAS to support companies in the trade, logistics, and related sectors. It provides access to government-related and commercial trade services, focusing on electronic bill of lading and sea freight e-commerce.
- GeTS, launched by electronic services provider CrimsonLogic, is a platform designed to help businesses meet regulatory and compliance requirements efficiently across borders. It facilitates the electronic exchange of trade documents between traders and foreign government agencies.
- SkillsFuture is a national movement in Singapore that supports individuals in upgrading their skills to stay relevant in the workforce. This initiative collaborates with Workforce Singapore (WSG) and SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) to offer a diverse range of skills upgrading opportunities, including those specifically tailored for the e-commerce sector.
- SkillsFuture offers a wide range of skills relevant to the e-commerce sector. These may include but are not limited to digital marketing, e-commerce platform management, data analytics, logistics optimization, and customer experience enhancement.
- The framework offers valuable information on sector-specific details, career pathways within the retail industry, various occupations and job roles, and both existing and emerging skills crucial for success in the field.
- Factors affecting the sector include the impact of new digital technologies, the growth of the e-commerce market, and opportunities in overseas markets. The rapidly growing internet retailing market is expected to become a crucial sales channel for retailers.
Leverage E-commerce Initiatives for Your Business
Tailored strategies, aligned with Government initiatives await your business in Singapore.