Known to be a financial hub with stringent regulatory policies, the
Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is focussed on maintaining the
Singaporean financial system’s stability but is also not wanting to be
left behind in the fintech race.
The MAS recently announced a new regulatory sandbox for financial
institutions to test and introduce new financial services in a more
breathable regulatory environment but within a defined space and
duration. Fintech startups are assessed on criteria such as their
level of innovation, whether the developer intends to deploy the
solution on a broad scale and whether the service brings benefits to
consumers and the industry.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore is collaborating with
technology companies to develop and enhance journey planning apps for
commuters. The apps will help enable commuters pick the best
multi-modal public transport routes using all available options such
as trains, buses, walking, cycling and using personal mobility
Commuters will benefit from using better journey plans that can help
them take advantage of the various mobility options available to reach
their destinations efficiently and comfortably. This initiative is in
line with the Singapore Government’s efforts to promote walking,
cycling and riding public transport as a way of life in Singapore, as
well as the Smart Nation initiative to co-create better solutions with
businesses and consumers.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is Singapore’s land use
planning and conservation authority, whose role is to plan and
facilitate Singapore’s physical development in partnership with the
The URA has just launched an online portal for people to search for
information on land matters in Singapore. Previously enquiries took
several days to search and due to the time and effort involved the URA
would charge a fee for the information. With the portal, the
information is freely available in an easily searchable way.
In the early parts of 2016, the Singapore Government committed S$19
billion to the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) plan, which
will be carried out over the next five years, RIE2020. This represents
an 18 percent increase on the previous RIE2015 (2011 to 2015) budget.
With an emphasis on public-private partnership, the new RIE2020 budget
will emphasize public-private collaboration and the participation of
multi-national companies (MNCs), large local enterprises (LLEs) and
small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs).
Government will also provide assistance for startups from early stage
seed funding and encourage MNCs and LLEs to co-invest in promising
start-ups, incubators and accelerators, particularly where management
expertise, global supply chain and marketing networks of large firms
will be able to give start-ups a push forward.
Government intervention can be seen as a double edge sword, based on
East & Partners Asia’s research which speaks mainly to SMEs in
One in four businesses see Government regulation as the greatest risk
to their business in the next three to five years, primarily due to
the uncertainty around unknown regulatory change, something which
businesses have no direct control over.
This however is an exciting time for business in Singapore, with clear
support from the Government to push technology further.
CFOs in Singapore are also talking about technology implementations in
their corporations. Recent East & Partners Asia recent research shows
that two thirds (65 percent) of Singaporean businesses see the
accelerated use of e-commerce giving them a more sustainable
competitive edge. It is clear that companies in Singapore will ride
this wave to build their future.