Singapore’s ties with China back ‘on track’ South China Morning Post 16th Jul 2017
Singapore’s rocky relations with China are “on track” with plans for high-level official visits and upgrades to a free-trade pact.
Commemorative Singapore, Brunei notes launched to mark currency agreement milestone Channel NewsAsia 7th Jul 2017
Commemorative S$50 and B$50 notes were launched by Singapore and Brunei on Wednesday (Jul 5), to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Currency Interchangeability Agreement between the two countries.
The S$139 billion city next to Singapore has a big China problem Today Online 23rd Jun 2017
The US$100 billion (S$139 billion) city rising from the sea next to Singapore has hit a roadblock: China’s capital controls. The dream of a Malaysian version of Shenzhen — largely funded by Chinese developers and buyers — with hotels, offices, golf courses, tech parks and thousands of ritzy new apartments, is having to adapt after China’s government clamped down on an exodus of money for investment in overseas property.
Singapore to sign Free Trade Agreement with Sri Lanka, tourism sector to benefit International Business Times, Singapore Edition 19th Jul 2017
One year after launching negotiations, Singapore and Sri Lanka have finalised a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to be signed soon, opening up Sri Lankan infrastructure and tourism industry to Singapore companies.
Amid anti-trade sentiments, PM Lee makes case for multilateral agreements at G20 Channel NewsAsia 7th Jul 2017
HAMBURG, Germany: Against the backdrop of heated anti-globalisation protests in Hamburg, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has called for multilateral trade to continue – adding that the spread of protectionist and anti-trade sentiments “could hurt the livelihoods and prosperity of billions of people.”
PM Lee says anti-trade sentiments can hurt hundreds of millions, urges G-20 leaders to redistribute benefits of trade The Business Times 7th Jul 2017
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has called on leaders of the world's 20 biggest economies to redistribute the benefits of trade more equally to arrest the anti-trade sentiments sweeping across many nations.
PM Lee urges G20 leaders not to ditch multilateral trade deals Todayonline 7th Jul 2017
With the pushback against globalisation resulting in a shift by some countries towards bilateral trade agreements, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has urged global leaders at the G20 summit not to abandon the multilateral model, which is critical to small countries like Singapore.
Indonesia seeks more investment from Singapore The Jakarta Post 28th Jul 2017
The government is hoping to boost investment and trade ties with neighboring Singapore following a bilateral meeting on Friday. Indonesia and Singapore frequently held bilateral meetings at all levels of government, Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said after the meeting at Hotel Borobudur in Central Jakarta on Friday.
Golden Jubilee: The Future of Indonesia-Singapore Relations Jakarta Globe 6th Jul 2017
Ngurah Swajaya, Indonesia's ambassador to Singapore, said fostering better cooperation between the two countries is key to facing new challenges in a rapidly changing world as they celebrate 50 years of diplomatic ties this year. "We need to be ready with new and emerging challenges, as well as opportunities [...] When we have good cooperation, the two countries can coordinate better and act more swiftly," Ngurah told the Jakarta Globe in an exclusive interview on Wednesday (05/07).
Việt Nam, Singapore share terrorism concerns vietnamnews.vn 25th Jul 2017
Việt Nam and Singapore share concerns over terrorism in the region and the world, and are willing to join hands in the fight against extreme violence, leaders of both countries said yesterday.
Vietnamese Party, Government leaders meet Singapore’s PAP chief Nhan Dan 6th Jul 2017
Party leader Trong lauded the valuable assistance that the PAP and Singaporean government have provided for the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) in terms of personnel training.
Singapore is Asia-Pacific's fourth most active commercial real estate market in H1 The Business Times 7th Aug 2017
SINGAPORE climbed to its highest position in five years on a list of most active commercial real estate markets in the Asia-Pacific in the first half of 2017, based on Real Capital Analytics data released on Monday.
PM Lee accepts Halimah Yacob's resignation from the PAP Channel NewsAsia 7th Aug 2017
Prime Minister and Secretary-General of the People's Action Party Lee Hsien Loong on Monday (Aug 7) accepted the resignation of Halimah Yacob from the PAP.
Full speech: Vivian Balakrishnan highlights principles underpinning Singapore's diplomacy Channel NewsAsia 17th Jul 2017
It is not by coincidence that today we are at peace, we are at peace with all our neighbours, and we have good relations with all the major powers of the world. We owe a debt of gratitude to all our leaders and diplomats, both present and the past, for this happy state of affairs.
Proposed Changes to the Income Tax Regime Lexology 14th Jul 2017
On 19 June 2017, the Ministry of Finance (“MOF”) released the draft Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2017 (the “Draft Bill”) for public consultation. The proposed amendments to the Income Tax Act (Cap. 134) (the “Act”) seek to implement announcements made in the 2017 Budget Statement, and effect further tax changes. While there are numerous proposals and changes, there are also a number of key items that are of special interest.
China ready to improve ties with Singapore, Xi tells Lee South China Morning Post 7th Jul 2017
President Xi Jinping told Singapore’s prime minister that China is ready to improve relations with the city-state when the pair met ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg on Thursday, according to state media reports.
Singapore, Germany to embark on new areas of cooperation: PM Lee Channel NewsAsia 7th Jul 2017
Singapore and Germany on Thursday (Jul 6) signed a joint declaration on strengthening cybersecurity cooperation to deepen information exchange between the two countries.
Currency agreement mutually beneficial for Brunei, Singapore Borneo Bulletin Online 1st Jul 2017
The 50th anniversary of the Currency Interchangeability Agreement between Brunei Darussalam and Singapore. Under this agreement, the monetary authorities and banks of both countries are obliged to accept and exchange each other’s currency at par and without charge, into their own currency. This means that Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) and banks in Brunei Darussalam will accept from the general public, including retailers, Singapore’s currency at 1:1 and vice-versa for Brunei Darussalam’s currency in Singapore, thus making it “customary tender”. The agreement remains intact till today.
Singapore's plug-and-play platform to expand SMEs' market reach in Asia PortCalls Asia 31st Jul 2017
The International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) has launched its Plug and Play Network that aims to ease the entry of Singaporean small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in key markets in Asia. IE Singapore announced July 27 the launch of the network designed to provide support to SMEs through business advisory services, business matching, and market setup via co-working spaces. The agency said the Plug and Play Network can enable SMEs to gain access to over 45 major cities across six markets, including New Delhi, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Shanghai.
Singapore, HK most open markets in latest ICC index PortCalls Asia 17th Jul 2017
Singapore, Hong Kong, and Luxembourg lead the list of the world’s most open markets for 2017, with only one of the G20 economies making it to the top 20, according to a new report by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). The ICC-commissioned Open Markets Index 2017 (OMI) published this month shows that Singapore tops the list with a score of 5.63, with 6 being the most open, followed by Hong Kong (5.53), and Luxembourg (5.02). The Asia-Pacific economies included in the survey are Taiwan (no. 23), Malaysia (31), Vietnam (33), Japan (37), South Korea (39), Thailand (48), China (56), Sri Lanka (59), Philippines (62), Indonesia (63), and India (64).
What is Singapore’s new 'National Trade Platform' OpenGov Asia 12th Jul 2017
The National Trade Platform (NTP), developed jointly by Singapore Customs and the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech), was one of the potentially game-changing projects recognised by OpenGov during its Singapore OpenGov Leadership Forum in May this year. NTP is designed to be a trade and logistics IT ecosystem connecting businesses, community systems and platforms, and government systems. It is going to be a One-stop trade portal for Business-to-Government (B2G) and Business-to-Business (B2B) services.
IE Singapore inks MOU to help Singapore firms expand presence in Sichuan (Chengdu) Free Trade Zone The Straits Times 28th Jun 2017
International Enterprise (IE) Singapore on Wednesday (June 28) signed a framework agreement with the Commission of Commerce of Chengdu to help Singapore companies expand their presence in Sichuan (Chengdu) Free Trade Zone (FTZ). The memorandum of understanding (MOU) specifically targets areas in trade and logistics, financial and professional services, and Information Technology (IT) and Innovation.
Singapore, China chart road map for next stage of bilateral ties The Straits Times 28th Jun 2017
Singapore and China's top leaders have identified three priority areas to focus on for the next stage of bilateral relations. In a sign that ties are on the mend, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang have agreed to deepen cooperation on the Belt and Road initiative and push for greater economic integration of the two countries by the timely conclusion of the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (CSFTA) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a trade agreement covering 16 nations.
Hong Kong, Singapore and UAE main hubs for fake trade Securing Industry 23rd Jun 2017
It shouldn't really come as much of a surprise, but China has come out as the top producer of counterfeit goods, according to a global analysis. The Asian country has been given the title in nine out of 10 product sectors vulnerable to counterfeiting that were analysed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). Revealed in the report Mapping the Real Routes of Trade in Fake Goods, the study also discovered that Hong Kong (an autonomous territory of China), the United Arab Emirates and Singapore were global hubs for the trade in counterfeit goods.
EU-ASEAN Trade Deal: Debunking the Myths Around Rules of Origin Brink News 17th Jul 2017
Defense & Security
The recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union to classify the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA) as a “mixed” agreement—one that also needs approval from EU member states—ended the uncertainties surrounding the ratification procedure for trade deals in the EU. The court confirmed that all chapters—excluding provisions on portfolio investment and Investor-State Dispute Settlement—fall within the EU’s “exclusive competence” for Brussels to act by itself. The deal’s 96-page-long rules of origin (ROOs), however, lead to some uneasiness about the merit of the deal for Singapore and the practicality of it being used as a template for the prospective EU-ASEAN FTA.
Singapore Reveals New Military Facility Amid Rising Islamic State Threat The Diplomat 3rd Aug 2017
On Monday, Singapore inaugurated a new institute designed to train personnel to undertake homeland defense and security operations. The move is just the latest step the city-state is taking to equip its armed forces with the necessary skills to undertake a wider range of security tasks amid growing threats including terrorism. Though Singapore possesses a highly capable military, its policymakers have long recognized the need to further modernize its armed forces to deal with the diversification and hybridization of threats in the 21st century ranging from terrorism to cyberwarfare to fake news; what defense officials have called a transformation into a 3rd Generation Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). Some signs of this had already been visible following the September 11 attacks, when the city-state had established an Island Defense Task Force (IDTF) where SAF forces would work with police, immigration and other authorities to protect key installations from potential terrorist attacks. But with a series of bold, orchestrated urban attacks by the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) in European and Southeast Asia as well as the increasing use of cyber as a domain for warfare, the city-state has redoubled its efforts to confront heightened security threats.
SAF and police working closely to deal with terror threat TODAYonline 31st Jul 2017
Over the past months, trainers from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) have been attending courses run by the police to familiarise themselves with police procedures and protocols in tackling public security incidents.
Singapore is security gateway, says Next US Ambassador Nominee McFarland International Business Times, Singapore Edition 21st Jul 2017
Ms Kathleen Troia McFarland, 65, nominated to be the next US ambassador to Singapore described the strategic importance of the tiny nation as the security gateway between East and West and as the entrance to the South China Sea.
Indonesia, Singapore Conclude Military Exercise Amid Anniversary The Diplomat 19th Jul 2017
From July 11 to 19, Singapore and Indonesian special forces carried out the latest iteration of their annual bilateral exercise. As I have pointed out before at The Diplomat, the security relationship between Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest state, and Singapore, the subregion’s smallest, has traditionally tended to be quite prickly. It took nearly a year for Indonesia to even officially recognize Singapore’s independence from Malaysia following Jakarta’s violent opposition to the creation of Malaysia, known as Konfrontasi. Even in recent years, disagreements have tended to simmer, whether around traditional issues such as air space or non-traditional security matters like the annual haze problem. Nonetheless, the two countries have still maintained a cordial defense relationship that includes the usual components: visits, exchanges, and exercises. They have also made efforts to better manage lingering challenges, with one recent significant milestone being the conclusion of a landmark maritime boundary treaty that came into force in February as the two countries commemorate the 50th anniversary of their relationship this year.
Singapore Gives Philippines Military Aid to Fight Islamic State Threat The Diplomat 19th Jul 2017
This week, Singapore offered the Philippines military assistance as Manila continues to battle Islamic State-linked terrorists in the country’s south. The move illustrates the growing alarm in the city-state as well as in Southeast Asia more broadly about the nature of the terrorist threat and its serious implications for regional security. As I have pointed out previously, Southeast Asia remains a key front in the battle against the Islamic State. Over 1,000 fighters have flocked from Southeast Asia to join the group in Iraq and Syria, and we have seen a string of planned attacks surface, some of which have been successful. Fears that the group could be looking to establish a caliphate base in the subregion from which to launch further attacks – one that Singapore’s officials have long been warning about – have only risen with the recent siege in the southern Philippine city of Marawi.
Singapore offers PH drones, urban warfare training Inquirer.net 19th Jul 2017
Singapore said Wednesday it has offered surveillance drones and urban warfare training to Philippine troops battling Islamist fighters, to prevent the militants becoming entrenched and threatening the rest of Southeast Asia. Philippine troops have been battling to dislodge militants loyal to the Islamic State group who seized parts of the southern city of Marawi on May 23 in a bid to establish a base in the Mindanao region, which shares sea borders with Malaysia and Indonesia.
Philippines 'keen on studying Singapore counter-terrorism experience' The Straits Times 18th Jul 2017
The Philippines can learn from Singapore's experience in fighting terrorism via "proactive" methods that seek to steer Singaporeans away from radical views, Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Tuesday (July 18). "We could certainly learn from Singapore's own approaches in countering violent extremism, specifically in the way you deal with Islamic schools and returning foreign fighters," Mr Lorenzana said, as he welcomed Singapore's Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, who is on a two-day working visit to the Philippines.
Guns and money: Why US' top North Korea diplomat is in Southeast Asia CNN 17th Jul 2017
When US Ambassador Joseph Yun visits Myanmar this week, he'll likely be trying to convince a longtime military partner of Pyongyang to join US efforts to rein in Kim Jong Un's nuclear efforts. It's a tough task for the man who made headlines for helping to free American Otto Warmbier from North Korean detention last month. But the trip, say analysts, is emblematic of a key tactic from the Trump administration: cutting off North Korean revenue, no matter how small or obscure the source.
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen to visit Philippines The Straits Times 17th Jul 2017
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen will be making a two-day working visit to the Philippines starting on Tuesday (July 18) so as to gain a better understanding of the ongoing security situation in the southern Philippines, the Ministry of Defence said.
Islamic State Decline Makes Singapore a Target, Minister Warns Bloomberg.com 30th Jun 2017
Terrorism is entrenched in Southeast Asia and will only worsen as Islamic State’s fortunes fade and foreign fighters skilled in bomb making and hijacking return from the Middle East, Singapore’s defense minister said. “When we talk about endemic threats we usually refer to threats like dengue or tuberculosis, which means that it’s here to stay, that despite years of effort you can’t eradicate it,” Ng Eng Hen told reporters on Tuesday ahead of the country’s armed forces day on July 1. “The problem will now come to Asean,” Ng said, referring to the 10 states that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. “Singapore is a target.” Ng cited the siege of Marawi, a city in the southern Philippines, where soldiers have been battling Islamic State-linked militants for more than a month. Terrorist camps discovered in Marawi turned up large amounts of money, weapons caches and fighters recruited from outside the Philippines, he said.
Singapore companies head to fast-growing Philippines The Straits Times 1st Aug 2017
A 22-member delegation from Singapore is headed to the Philippines on Tuesday (August 1), as interest grows amongst Singapore companies in one of Asia's most promising economies.
Growing optimism over Singapore's economic recovery The Straits Times 1st Aug 2017
Singapore's economic recovery has been patchy but recent data seems to suggest a growing optimism. Companies in the service sector - which makes up two-thirds of the economy - are shaking off a deep cloud of gloom and anticipating more favorable business conditions in this half of the year, according to a new survey.
Singapore sentiment surveys show softness in manufacturing, pickup in services- Nikkei Asian Review 31st Jul 2017
Singapore manufacturers have become slightly less optimistic about the outlook for the months ahead, but companies in the services sector have turned positive after nearly two years in the doldrums.
Singapore economic growth to pick up but rising geopolitical risks a challenge: IMF The Straits Times 29th Jul 2017
Singapore's economy is on track to pick up pace into next year as the improved global outlook along with rising public spending spill over into private consumption, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said.
IMF Executive Board Concludes 2017 Article IV Consultation with Singapore IMF 28th Jul 2017
On July 13, 2017, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the 2017 Article IV consultation with Singapore, and considered and endorsed the staff appraisal without a meeting on a lapse-of-time basis.
Uneven growth seems to be new normal for Singapore economy The Straits Times 26th Jul 2017
Manufacturing - now the brightest spot in the Singapore economy - turned in yet another outstanding performance last month, thanks largely to electronics makers. This allayed some concerns that factories, which have been a key growth driver this year, might be losing steam.
Singapore's inflation expectations moderate to 3.23% Singapore Business Review 24th Jul 2017
Demand for accommodation has continued to be weak. Singapore's expected inflation expectations have moderated to 3.23%, off its three-year high in the March 2017 survey.
Singapore's economic growth rate could nearly double by 2035 with artificial intelligence: Accenture The Straits Times 20th Jul 2017
Artificial intelligence (AI) could nearly double Singapore's annual economic growth rates by 2035, according to research by global professional services firm Accenture.
Singapore exports rally with 8.2% surge in June The Straits Times 18th Jul 2017
Singapore exports rebounded strongly last month, after lacklustre performances in both April and May. But the mood was dampened by fears that the vital electronics sector, which has been a key driver of growth so far this year, could be running out of steam.
Singapore economy to grow 2.7% in 2017 Singapore Business Review 23rd Jun 2017
Singapore will get to see a higher growth forecast of 2.7% for its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017, thanks to the improved growth dynamics and the ongoing recovery in global trade.
Citi warns that Singapore’s oil and gas sector is not out of the woods yet CNBC 5th Jul 2017
Even as Singapore faces brighter economic prospects this year, one sector could remain a sticking point for the export-reliant country. Citi pointed the finger at oil and gas in a research note published on Tuesday. The Southeast Asian city-state is home to the world's largest offshore rig builders, Keppel Corporation and Sembcorp Marine, who had slashed jobs and closed down yards to cope with the downturn.
Singapore looking into two energy sources for sustainability: DPM Teo The Business Times 26th Jun 2017
SINGAPORE is looking into two areas of energy sources for developments in sustainability, and it remains committed to the Paris Agreement, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said at Temasek Holdings' Ecosperity conference on Monday.
Inaugural Public Sector Sustainability Plan 2017-2020 launched in Singapore OpenGov 26th Jun 2017
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in Charge of the Public Service, Teo Chee Hean, launched the inaugural Public Sector Sustainability Plan 2017-2020 (PSSP) at the opening ceremony of the Singapore Sustainability Academy1 on World Environment Day.
E-payments in Singapore get a Stripe fillip The Business Times 24th Jul 2017
ADVANCEMENTS in digital payments shaped Singapore's payments landscape in July, allowing many Internet businesses to sell to a wider audience and more quickly adapt to "new retail", a phenomenon coined by Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba that entails retailers leveraging the Internet and customer data to sell better.
Singapore Reveals Plans for Central Bank-Issued Cryptocurrencies | Finance Magnates Finance Magnates 24th Jul 2017
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced Project Ubin, its plan to use distributed ledger technology to connect central banks around the world.
Details Emerge on Singapore Central Bank's Blockchain R&D CoinDesk 24th Jul 2017
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has revealed a three-step plan to connect the world’s central banks via distributed ledger technology. The two-phase effort called "Project Ubin" would see global central banks settling cross-border transactions in real time via a blockchain.
Mobile payments: Is Singapore behind the curve? Channel NewsAsia 24th Jul 2017
Apple Pay, Android Pay, DBS PayLah!, Dash and Liquid Pay are just some of the growing number of mobile payment options that have transformed the way purchases can be made in Singapore. Consumers simply need to use their smart mobile devices to pay for their purchases at the cashier without having to take out their wallets.
Fintech adoption in Singapore lags other economies but expected to beat global average in future: Report TODAYonline 18th Jul 2017
Financial technology (fintech) adoption in Singapore lags far behind other economies around the world, a report by business consultancy EY showed on Tuesday (July 18), although it added that the Republic is expected to catch up and exceed the global average in the next several years, largely because of Government-led efforts.
Singapore banks urged to prioritise long-term funding Singapore Business Review 17th Jul 2017
They are getting to grips with the new NSFR rules. Reuters reported that Singapore's three biggest banks will be required to prioritise long-term funding from next year to ensure they will be stable in extended periods of market stress.
Singapore: Next step in Singapore’s payments journey Lexology 17th Jul 2017
As Singapore moves towards a Smart Nation and a cashless society, our electronic payments system has also developed to allow consumers to send and receive money easily. The most recent development in this journey is PayNow, which allows bank customers to transfer funds using only the recipient’s mobile number or Singapore NRIC/FIN. Technology has transformed the way Singaporeans use financial services, and surveys show that 94% of Singaporeans have used mobile and internet banking to access their bank accounts. In addition, one in five consumers in South-East Asia use digital wallets, with Singapore being the top adopter in the region.
Singapore ready to exchange financial data with Indonesia: Minister Antara News 14th Jul 2017
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia's finance minister Sri Mulyani said here on Thursday that Singapore was ready to provide information about the financial data of Indonesian citizens as part of the implementation of Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) program for tax purposes. "Singapore has stated that Indonesia has been considered as being eligible and included in their Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA), meaning the AEOI agreement can automatically be carried out according to its timeline," she said.
Singapore Expands Fintech Reach finews.asia 12th Jul 2017
Bangkok has been emerging as the fintech entrepot into the large ASEAN marketplace and Thai banks have also been quickly expanding their financial technology focus.
Singapore's central bank seals fintech deal with Thailand International Business Times, Singapore Edition 12th Jul 2017
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) has inked a FinTech Cooperation Agreement (CA) in the efforts to strengthen the two countries' initiative of fostering the technology in the wider region. The agreement eyes developing a richer financial ecosystem in the two countries as part of the bigger ASEAN region. It allows BOT and MAS to share information on burgeoning market trends and their impact on regulation. The deal also allows fintech firms in both countries to create a network. For the two central banks, the signing of the deal signals a shared intent to explore and undertake innovation projects, especially those with potential cross-border applicability. The signing of the deal comes with the updating of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Banking Supervision, which was agreed upon by the two banks in 2006. This deal will also boost the bilateral collaboration in safeguarding the resilience of their banking systems.
Users take to new PayNow system The Straits Times 11th Jul 2017
Response has been good to the PayNow fund transfer system that went live yesterday at 8am. More than 50,000 users have registered with participating banks as of 5pm yesterday, the Association of Banks said in a statement. PayNow lets users transfer money to each other using just the recipient's mobile or NRIC number once an account has been linked.
Singapore: Blurred lines - MAS relaxes anti-commingling rules Lexology 11th Jul 2017
This time, MAS has gone further by streamlining the requirements for banks seeking to conduct or invest in permissible non-financial businesses. For example, banks will not need to seek prior regulatory approval before conducting or acquiring major equity stakes in permissible non-financial businesses. Other requirements such as conducting regular stress test or external audits have also been removed. As such, banks can more easily integrate banking services into customers’ day-to-day activities and deliver value added service to them by ensuring these additional services can be provided on the banks’ platform.
A Proposed Policy Framework for Regulating the Provision of Digital Advisory Services Lexology 11th Jul 2017
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is seeking to regulate the provision of financial advice using digital tools. The new Consultation Paper on Provision of Digital Advisory Services issued on 7 June 2017 (Consultation Paper) sets out broad policy concerns and issues for the regulation of automated, algorithm-based, client facing digital tools that will play the role of financial adviser.
Proposed bill for cybersecurity to take precedence over bank, privacy rules The Straits Times 11th Jul 2017
In a cyber attack, a new law in the works will take precedence over banking and privacy rules that forbid the sharing of confidential information. The proposed Cyber Security Bill, which will be introduced and debated in Parliament later this year, will require a bank to report any cyber attack "within hours''. It will have to alert a proposed Commissioner of Cyber Security and, if an investigation is ordered, will have to share information with Singapore's Cyber Security Agency (CSA). Failure to do so can lead to a fine or jail term.
Thailand ties the fintech knot with Singapore Banking Technology 11th Jul 2017
The Bank of Thailand (BOT) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have signed a fintech co-operation agreement and updated an existing memorandum of understanding (MoU) on banking supervision.
Why only 9% of Singaporeans prefer to use banking apps Singapore Business Review 11th Jul 2017
This is against the global average of 13%. It seems that Singaporeans are not that eager to use mobile banking apps, a report from HSBC said.
Singapore to postpone implementation of bank capital rules Singapore Business Review 10th Jul 2017
It is following the footsteps of Hong Kong and Australia. Reuters reported that Singapore's banking regulator has told lenders it will delay by a year the implementation of global rules designed to rein in trading risks - the latest sign that the post-crisis overhaul of the world's banking system may be stalling.
Singapore’s GIC warns of weaker returns Financial Times 10th Jul 2017
The performance of Singapore’s GIC has fallen to its lowest since the global financial crisis, as the sovereign wealth fund warned of a protracted period of low returns in the years ahead. The Singapore investor’s rolling annualised rate of return fell to 3.7 per cent for the two-decade period to the end of March 2017, down from 4 per cent a year ago and the lowest since 2009.
Singaporeans are the most picky e-commerce customers in Southeast Asia Singapore Business Review 7th Jul 2017
Around 34.7% of consumer complaints are from Singapore. The latest study by the iPrice Group revealed that Singaporean consumers are amongst the hardest to impress especially for e-commerce players.
Singapore:LIA panel reviews Health Insurance Task Force proposals Asia Insurance Review 6th Jul 2017
The Life Insurance Association of Singapore (LIA) has formed a working committee to review the recommendations of the Health Insurance Task Force (HITF) over the next six months, which will provide further guidance for insurers to consider their own implementation plans.
Singapore: Sony Life to introduce life insurance and financial advisory businesses Asia Insurance Review 6th Jul 2017
Sony Life Insurance has established a local subsidiary in Singapore to sell life insurance products through via agencies in shopping malls. The Japanese insurer aims to open nearly 50 agencies in the city-state over 10 years, starting as soon as summer 2018, said the Nikkei Asian Review.
Singapore finance sector sees boom in tech jobs, even as industry growth slows The Straits Times 4th Jul 2017
Never mind numeracy skills. To work in a bank these days, a jobseeker is better off being a designer, digital data analyst or tech developers. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in its annual report last week noted a net increase of 2,800 financial sector jobs last year, despite the slowdown in financial sector growth. The sector as a whole grew just 0.7 per cent last year, down from 5.7 per cent in 2015.
Singapore and China to deepen ties in 5 key areas of finance: DPM Tharman The Straits Times 29th Jun 2017
Singapore and China are working to step up collaboration in five key areas in the financial sector, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Thursday (June 29) at the end of his five-day visit to China.
Singapore: Association of Banks updates Guidelines for Outsourced Service Providers Lexology 28th Jun 2017
On 1 June 2017, the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) issued an update to their “Guidelines on Control Objectives and Procedures for Outsourced Service Providers”. The update replaces the first version of these guidelines previously issued on 25 July 2015. Overall, the update involved only minor changes. Nevertheless, these changes indicate a greater emphasis on review, monitoring and control of the outsourced service providers (OSPs). OSPs should take note of this new focus as banks and other financial institutions (FIs) will likely look to these guidelines to supplement their own regulatory obligations when engaging OSPs.
Singapore to allow banks to enter non-financial e-commerce Reuters 27th Jun 2017
Singapore's central bank will streamline regulatory requirements to allow banks to conduct or invest in non-financial e-commerce businesses, it said late on Tuesday. Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, speaking at an event organized by the Association of Banks in Singapore, said that these will be businesses that are related to or complementary to banks' core financial operations.
Singapore to Let Banks Invest in E-Commerce, Other Business Bloomberg.com 27th Jun 2017
Singapore regulators have proposed rules that will make it easier for banks to conduct or invest in non-financial businesses such as e-commerce and digital-payment platforms, helping them to better compete with non-bank firms in these areas, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said Tuesday.
Singapore: Regulating Robo-advisors Lexology 23rd Jun 2017
Food & Agriculture
On 7 June 2017, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued a consultation paper on the provision of digital advisory services in Singapore. The consultation paper proposes amendments to the Securities and Futures Act and the Financial Advisors Act which are the existing framework governing the provision of financial advice, to allow for the wider use of digital advisors or robo-advisors whilst ensuring that there are adequate safeguards in place. In the consultation, the MAS expressly welcomes the offering of digital advisory services to complement the existing advisory channels as it is of the view that doing so would improve consumers’ access to low-cost investment advice, in effect resulting in a greater democratisation of financial advice. This move by the MAS is evidence of its commitment to strengthening Singapore’s position as a Smart Financial Centre and is a boost to Singapore’s standing as a FinTech hub.
Singapore, South Australia seal food innovation deal Singapore Business Review 24th Jul 2017
Health & Life Sciences
The agreement will facilitate information exchange between the two countries. Singapore and Australia have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish and foster closer collaboration in food innovation.
S$10 million additional funding to support, develop TCM sector Channel NewsAsia 2nd Aug 2017
An additional S$10 million will be invested in the support and develop the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) sector, Senior Minister of State for Health Chee Hong Tat announced on Wednesday (Aug 2).
Biotech sector poised to deliver more health and wealth The Straits Times 29th Jul 2017
On May 24, a local biotechnology company successfully raised US$33 million (S$44.8 million) through an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEx), valuing the company at US$300 million.
Insurance for all doctors may become compulsory The Straits Times 27th Jul 2017
The Singapore Medical Council (SMC), together with the Ministry of Health, is studying a proposal on making insurance coverage compulsory for all doctors.
MOH to embark on three-year project with Singapore Hospice Council to plug gaps in end-of-life care The Straits Times 27th Jul 2017
Over the next three years, the Health Ministry will be working with the Singapore Hospice Council to improve the way people are cared for at the end of their lives.
Health screening services to face tighter regulations: MOH Channel NewsAsia 24th Jul 2017
Health screening services will soon face tighter regulation as authorities seek to introduce licensing requirements. This will come under a new Healthcare Services Bill, which will replace the Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics Act, the Ministry of Health (MOH) told Channel NewsAsia.
New $18m 3D-printing centre focusing on healthcare applications launched The Straits Times 21st Jul 2017
Tissue regeneration, implants and drug formulations enabled by 3D printing - these are just some of the areas that a new $18 million 3D-printing centre launched on Friday (July 21) will explore.
Track diabetes online? More hi-tech solutions on the cards for health, transport, finance The Straits Times 21st Jul 2017
Over the next few years, Singaporeans will be able to assess and monitor their risk of diabetes online, as the war against diabetes goes more high-tech.
The True Cost Of Healthcare In Singapore That Every Singaporean Should Be Aware Of The Independent 13th Jul 2017
According to a study by AON, the medical inflation rate of Singapore stood at a high 15% in the year 2015 and 10% in the year 2016. Both numbers exceeded the global rate.
Malaysia and Thailand threaten to take Singapore’s healthcare crown ASEAN Today 10th Jul 2017
Singapore’s reputation for the world’s best healthcare is being challenged after improvements in the systems of its ASEAN neighbours.
Singapore to remain attractive for healthcare IPOs Singapore Business Review 6th Jul 2017
It is home to one of the world’s biggest healthcare groups, IHH. Whilst the consumer and the professional services sectors are seen to rise and continue their uptrend, Singapore will see a new potential with the healthcare sector.
MOH may make it mandatory for private sector to join national health database The Straits Times 3rd Jul 2017
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has been trying for years to get the private sector on board the National Electronic Health Records (NEHR), with little success. Now, it might take off the velvet gloves and make it compulsory.
As Singapore loses medical tourism edge, healthcare firms expand overseas- Nikkei Asian Review 28th Jun 2017
SINGAPORE (Nikkei Markets) -- Singapore's healthcare players are shifting strategy as rising costs and growing competition erode the city-state's appeal as a destination for medical tourism.
Doctors' fees: Administrators must change formula by July 1 The Straits Times 24th Jun 2017
Thousands of patients might find themselves with no access to doctors covered by their insurer or company unless third-party administrators (TPAs) make further changes to their practice by July 1.
Insurance premiums may go up by 85% in Singapore by 2030 Human Resources Online 23rd Jun 2017
According to a recent whitepaper by Mercer, the incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – such as diabetes, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, and cardiovascular disease – increases with age, posing a challenge for Asia Pacific’s mature workforces.
Some new third party fee structures still don't pass muster with SMC a week ahead of deadline The Straits Times 23rd Jun 2017
SINGAPORE - Third party administrators (TPAs), which usually represent employers or insurers who pay for a patient's treatment, have reconfigured their fee structures to meet a new requirement.
Bright ideas but little money for Singapore's medical tech startups- Nikkei Asian Review 22nd Jun 2017
SINGAPORE The medical technology field may not have deep roots in Singapore, but the country has been fertile ground for innovation, with local startups producing everything from the world's first portable kidney dialysis machine to a robotic surgical arm that can be operated like a video-game controller.
Here's how Singapore provides high-quality health care at low costs Public Radio International 22nd Jun 2017
As the debate in the United States continues, we looked at another country that some commentators admire as a model for its ability to maintain high-quality care, while controlling costs: Singapore.
M1 launches Singapore NB-IoT network ZDNet 7th Aug 2017
Singapore telco has commercially launched its nationwide Narrowband Internet of Things network, along with an enterprise customer that is piloting an energy management meter on the platform.
11 critical information infrastructure sectors tested for first time in national cybersecurity exercise Channel NewsAsia 7th Aug 2017
The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) carried out its second and largest multi-sector exercise to date on Tuesday (Jul 18), in a bid to put the country’s cyber incident management and emergency response plans to the test.
Singtel announces NB-IoT and Cat-M1 network rollout ZDNet 7th Aug 2017
Singtel has announced that it will be rolling out an Internet of Things (IoT) network across Singapore by the end of next month, with the telecommunications company focusing on supporting both Cat-M1 and narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) technologies.
Singapore’s new cybersecurity bill: A work in progress Enterprise Innovation | Asia's Premier Business and Technology Publication 7th Aug 2017
Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and the Cyber Security Agency (CSA) have recently proposed a Cybersecurity Bill, which is open for public feedback from 10 July to 3 August 2017.
Singapore to review personal data protection rules ComputerWeekly 1st Aug 2017
Singapore is planning to review its personal data protection laws to keep up with the changing technology landscape, such as the growing adoption of the internet of things (IoT) where seeking consent from consumers for the collection and use of personal data may not be practical.
Singapore, like the US, says it may regulate some ICOs TechCrunch 1st Aug 2017
Less than a week after the SEC said that it may regulate certain crypto token sales, better known as ICOs, Singapore has followed suit to say it too will regulate offerings that are deemed to be securities. Already a global financial hub, Singapore has developed into a destination of sorts for ICOs, with the likes of TenX ($80 million), Golem ($8.6 million) and Qtum ($15.6 million) among those to have held ICOs from the country. In an era of uncertainty around the way traditional financial regulators will deal with the burst in alternative funding via ICOs, Singapore’s central bank’s move to tokenized its currency was seen as a positive validation by many in the crypto industry.
Developing a trusted data ecosystem to support Singapore’s digital economy Digital News Asia 28th Jul 2017
THE Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) has embarked on a series of new initiatives as part of its efforts to develop a trusted data ecosystem in Singapore. With an increase in data sharing activities in the digital economy, these initiatives will ensure that the data protection ecosystem stays up to date – allowing businesses to innovate and seize new opportunities while continuing to ensure that individuals’ personal data are well-protected.
Amazon Prime Now launches in Singapore, its first market in Southeast Asia TechCrunch 27th Jul 2017
It’s official — Amazon has launched its Prime Now delivery service in Singapore, its first market in Southeast Asia. The Amazon apps went live in Singapore early last night local time, and Prime Now — an aggressive two-hour delivery service — is available to Singapore’s population of more than five million people from today. The launch includes “tens of thousands of items” but it isn’t the full Prime offering, which Amazon said will be available “soon” in Singapore.
Cyber-security exercise involves all 11 critical information infrastructure sectors The Straits Times 18th Jul 2017
For the first time, more than 200 participants from all designated Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) sectors in Singapore took part in a cyber-security exercise on Tuesday (July 18). Exercise Cyber Star, led by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), is a whole-of-government effort that tests Singapore's cyber incident management and emergency response plans.
Lax oversight in IT, financial controls uncovered in Auditor-General's report Channel NewsAsia 18th Jul 2017
The Auditor-General's Office (AGO) observed that there were weaknesses in IT controls, laxity in financial controls and inadequate oversight of development projects among the government agencies it audited in the financial year of 2016/2017.
Auditor-General flags IT and financial lapses in latest public sector audit TODAYonline 18th Jul 2017
The Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) has flagged laxity in financial controls, weaknesses in information technology controls and inadequate oversight of development projects in their annual audit of the public sector.
Singapore tops UN ranking on cybersecurity strategy Channel NewsAsia 17th Jul 2017
Singapore has a better overall cybersecurity approach than the US and other wealthy countries, a UN survey showed on Wednesday (Jul 5). The survey by the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) rated Singapore as top in the world based on its legal, technical and organisational institutions, educational and research capabilities and cooperation in information-sharing networks.
Singapore needs to participate as super partner in infrastructure development The Business Times 7th Aug 2017
ASIA'S continued growth is highly dependent on infrastructure. Developing Asia will require US$26 trillion over the 15 years from 2016 to 2030, or US$1.7 trillion per year. With Singapore's outstanding achievement in the last 50 years of nation building, the country is in a good position to contribute to this opportunity and benefit from this growth.
Singapore companies aim to nab high-speed rail project- Nikkei Asian Review 17th Jul 2017
Six local companies have formed a consortium, hoping to join a project to build a high-speed railway between this city-state and Kuala Lumpur.
Safe and free flow of goods key to realising potential of China's Belt and Road Initiative: DPM Teo TODAYonline 13th Jul 2017
SINGAPORE — The safe and free flow of goods is key to realising the full potential of large investments that have been made to boost connectivity and transport linkages cross four continents under China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.
Which segment will drive Venture Corp's revenue growth? Singapore Business Review 10th Jul 2017
The group started the year right on a long-term positive outlook. Whilst there has been an observed share price correction in Venture Corporation, OCBC Investment analyst Eugene Chua noted how strong the group's fundamentals remain.
Singapore's manufacturing sector to run sideways following its peak Singapore Business Review 7th Jul 2017
Overall manufacturing PMIs edged modestly in June. The latest reading of the purchasing managers' indices could mean that the electronics sector is now running sideways.
Singapore's May manufacturing output grows at slower pace of 5% The Straits Times 23rd Jun 2017
Singapore's manufacturing output rose by 5 per cent in May from a year ago, easing from the 6.7 per cent increase in April, as the electronics segment grew at a slower pace.