IT industry in Singapore:The Intelligent Island

Published in 1992 (Computer Jagat)

The IT industry in Singapore has, since 1982, experienced positive growth. The average growth for the 8-year period from 1982 to 1990 was approximately 30%. The growth from 1989 to 1990 alone was 45%.

In 1989 the market was worth S$ 1,483 million. This increased to S$2,147 million in 1990. About 70% of this came from local sales. Export revenue in 1990 was $657 million, an 83% increase from the previous year. ASEAN was responsible for more than half the export revenue, with the Far East and Western Europe contributing to the rest.

Software sales in 1990 amounted to $553 million whereas hardware sales touched $1594 million.

The government has given the green light to Singapore’s National Computer Board to spearhead the master planning and implementation of the National Information Infrastructure projects.

This will be done through a recently concluded project called IT2000. The project was initiated by NCB in 1991 and is aimed at identifying opportunities for Singapore to exploit IT to enhance economic competitiveness and enhance the quality of life of its people.

The project examined 11 major economic sectors and tapped the knowledge and expertise of 200 influential senior executives and academics from both the public and private sectors to research future IT application opportunities.

The project is expected to contribute greatly towards Singapore’s dream of becoming an intelligent island. This dream may very well become reality sooner than expected with the highly centralized order of planning and implementation practiced in the country. As a result of this effort, Singapore has been ranked by the World Competitiveness Report as being among the top nations in the world to effectively exploit IT.

Among the major developments in IT exploitation in Singapore are the successful penetration of IT into business, where 70% of companies with fewer than 10 employees- use computers; the promotion of Singapore as a total business hub for IT MNCs, from sales to OHQs, manufacturing, regional training. Database services, technical services and research and development; the setting up of EDI networks; the improvement of telecommunication services; and IT manpower development, which has created 10,000 professionals by 1990.


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