Singapore Update: July 11, 2019

Singapore Update | July 11, 2019
Authors: Lilibeth Almonte-Arbez, Sarina Divan, Kim Yaeger
 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 
Singapore Issues Up to Five New Licenses for Digital Banks

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has announced that it will issue five new licenses for digital banking. This is in addition to the current digital banks that exist under the internet banking framework implemented in 2000, which allowed Singapore banking groups to have digital bank subsidies. This announcement is an important step in liberalizing and strengthening the banking sector in Singapore, which is currently dominated by traditional local banks. The five licenses will comprise of two digital full bank licenses, allowing its holders to establish a "wide range of financial services and take deposits from retail customers," as well as three digital wholesale bank licenses which will “allow licensees to serve SMEs and other non-retail segments.” While the digital full bank licenses are only available to companies owned and headquartered in Singapore, foreign companies can apply if they form joint ventures with Singaporean companies that are owned and headquartered there. On the other hand, digital wholesale bank licenses are available to all companies. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, senior minister and chairman of MAS, stated that even companies who have not established a track record in banking may apply and encouraged firms with innovative value propositions to apply when applications open in August. Following the announcement, companies like Grab Financial Group, Razer, a gaming peripherals brand, and Singtel, a telecommunications company, have all publicly stated that they will consider applying.

New Digital Industry Singapore Office Established

The Minister of Communications and Information, S. Iswaran, announced the launch of a new government office, Digital Industry Singapore (DISG), with the goal of fostering public-private partnerships to continue strengthening the digital economy in Singapore. DISG works with companies on digital industry-related matters, such as e-commerce, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity, as well as issues including market access and global expansion. This office is managed by officers from the Economic Development Board, Enterprise Singapore, and the Infocomm Media Development Authority. According to the Minister for Communications and Information, the office has already worked with Grab to establish the technology company’s new headquarters in Singapore and will continue to facilitate many more projects in the coming years. Through these partnerships, DISG is expected to create 10,000 new jobs in Singapore within the next three years, both in the technology sector and in other areas, such as finance and business development. DISG will also collaborate with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and local education institutions to establish training programs for Singaporeans to fill these job openings.

The creation of DISG is the latest step the country has taken to boost the digital economy and become the technology hub of Asia. As Kiren Kumar, chief digital industry officer of DISG, cited, 80 of the top 100 technology companies in the world are in Singapore. DISG also comes after Singapore released a new data sharing framework to increase trust in the digital economy (for more information on this framework, see the Council’s ICT Update here).

Singapore to Invest Nearly $30 Million for 5G Development

Singapore has allocated more than $29.5 million (S$40 million) to research and innovation for the development of 5G networks. In particular, the investment will fund 5G tech trials, new open testbeds, and other 5G research and development initiatives. According to the Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran, 5G is expected to yield the greatest value, and will be tested by the Infocommunications Media Development Authority (IMDA), in six key areas: maritime operations, urban mobility, smart estate management, smart manufacturing, and government and consumer applications. The grant will also support research on cybersecurity, a major area of concern in the development of 5G networks, in collaboration with the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore and National Research Foundation. Investing in 5G technology in the specified sectors and cybersecurity can help strengthen Singapore’s digital economy and boost economic competitiveness. The IMDA has not yet confirmed which telecommunications companies will participate in building the 5G infrastructure, but reportedly supports "vendor diversity." The agency expects to roll out the first few 5G networks by next year but anticipates that wide-scale deployment will take a few more years.  

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 

Regional Affairs
Singapore companies look to Asean to pick up slack from trade war: HSBC
Hun Manet Introductory Visit Highlights Singapore-Cambodia Relations

National Affairs
Government trims industrial land supply again amid weaker growth outlook
Govt to partner Singaporeans in new ways to design policies together, says Heng Swee Keat in setting out 4G leaders' plans

Customs
A future without lost mail: Stamps with QR codes being studied in postal service overhaul
Electricity tariffs to rise 6.4% in third quarter to hit highest rate in nearly 5 years; gas tariffs to increase by 1.6%

Defense & Security
Singapore Plans $296 Million for Next-Gen Army Training Facility
Defence tech organisations must be agile and adaptable in addressing challenges: DSTA chief
Fewer cyber threats detected here last year, but online crime still rising: CSA report
Businesses in Singapore lost nearly S$58 million to cyber attacks last year: CSA report
What’s in the New US-Singapore Artificial Intelligence Defense Partnership?
What can Singapore do to counter rogue drones and airport incursions?
NDP 2019 to feature new aircraft, F-15SG fighter jet displays and 2,600-strong parade
What’s in Singapore’s New Armored Fighting Vehicle?

Economics
Singapore aims to create 10,000 tech jobs in three years
S$10,000 SkillsFuture training subsidy launched for eligible SMEs
Singapore to review 2019 growth forecast as trade war bites; weaker Q2 expected: MAS
Singapore factory output falls 2.4% in May, worse than expected
Singapore Heading for Recession Next Quarter, Maybank Says
Singapore's weak non-oil exports likely to persist, say analysts
Electronics exports hit 10-year low, heralding further pain ahead
Singapore's exports down 15.9% in May

Energy
Singapore plans huge 50MW floating solar project
Pre-assembled concept proposed for 10 GW Northern Territory PV project
Singapore's Pavilion Energy to acquire LNG assets of Spain's Iberdrola
Singapore’s Sunseap Receives $43 Million Green Loan to Install 210 Rooftop Solar Systems

Financial Services
ADB To Open New Singapore Office To Expand Private Sector Operations
Singapore to allow digital banks; MAS issuing up to 5 new licences: Tharman
CapBridge and UOB sign agreement to provide companies across Asia with access to private capital
Asia Pacific – Banking, financial services and insurance industry reports growth in online recruitment
Singapore’s Colocation Market to Nearly Double by 2023

Food & Agriculture
Technology fuels food industry growth
Warming to slash equivalent of 80 million jobs by 2030: UN

Health & Life Sciences
S'pore drug development gets another shot in the arm
Singapore ratifies international convention on workplace safety and health
IEV Holdings in talks to diversify into healthcare business
Novena Global Lifecare to set up US$150m Sino-Singapore healthcare fund
Singapore ranked No. 3 in survey on use of AI in healthcare
Weekly dengue cases in Singapore spike to highest in more than 3 years

ICT
Singapore announces nearly $30 million for 5G research and innovation
Singapore puts shoebox-size satellite into orbit to test next-gen cyber security technology
New guidelines for companies to share data responsibly
New digital industry office to spearhead tech sector growth, creation of 10,000 jobs
Singapore to start testing 5G before high-speed network rollout
Majority of Singapore firms can't keep up with cloud adoption, suspect data being sold on Dark Web: Poll
Over half of SMEs still in early stages of digital maturity: report
Rapid e-commerce growth to drive Singapore's logistics services sector: Colliers report
Despite 5G fanfare, mobile operators still boosting older network connections

Infrastructure
Construction work begins for second phase of Tuas port
MPA launches GeoSpace-Sea, a Singapore marine and coastal database
Smart solutions in the pipeline for Singapore's industrial parks
SMRT, SBS Transit to build rail competence together, sign MOU with ST Engineering
Singapore financiers look to put region’s infrastructure on track
Building resilience against natural disasters among ways Singapore can help Asia grow sustainably: Heng Swee Keat

Travel & Tourism
Malaysia Airlines expands code-sharing with Singapore Airlines
STB opens call for entries for Singapore Tourism Accelerator
Integrated Resorts to invest S$9 billion in new world-class attractions and experiences

 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Regional Affairs

Singapore companies look to Asean to pick up slack from trade war: HSBC The Business Times 8th Jul 2019
The United States-China trade conflict has dominated discourse for a year now, but Singapore businesses are not letting it get in the way of their future plans, even as the global growth outlook appears increasingly gloomy. A survey by HSBC found that even though the trade war is still a concern, local companies are now looking to intra-Asean business activity to cushion themselves from the effects, with the majority expecting to grow in the next one to two years. The top threat pinpointed by 33 per cent of Singapore firms is, in fact, competition from new competitors. This was followed by uncertain or declining customer demand and protectionism (which takes into account trade tensions), which came in at a joint 20 per cent.

Hun Manet Introductory Visit Highlights Singapore-Cambodia Relations The Diplomat 18th Jun 2019
Last week, Hun Manet, the eldest son of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen who now serves as commander of the Royal Cambodian Army, was in Singapore for his first visit in his current capacity. The trip highlighted the defense aspect of the relationship between Singapore and Cambodia amid ongoing domestic transitions in both Southeast Asian states.

National Affairs

Government trims industrial land supply again amid weaker growth outlook The Straits Times 28th Jun 2019
The Government has reduced industrial land supply for the second half of 2019, as a global manufacturing slowdown and rising trade tensions lowered Singapore's growth outlook. Under the Industrial Government Land Sales (IGLS) programme for the second half of 2019, the Government will release four sites in the confirmed list and six sites in the reserve list, with a total site area of 9.98ha, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced on Friday (June 28).

Govt to partner Singaporeans in new ways to design policies together, says Heng Swee Keat in setting out 4G leaders' plans The Straits Times 15th Jun 2019
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat has set out how his generation of leaders plans to take Singapore forward, saying the Government will partner Singaporeans in new ways to design and implement policies together. Beyond doing so, the Government will work with Singaporeans to create a shared future where everyone will have a part to play, he said on Saturday (June 15) at a dialogue on building the country's future together.

Customs

A future without lost mail: Stamps with QR codes being studied in postal service overhaul The Straits Times 8th Jul 2019
Lost mail may one day be a thing of the past, if SingPost's ambitious plan to track all postal items here comes to fruition. It is working on a stamp prototype with QR codes that will enable mail articles to be scanned and tracked throughout the delivery process, SingPost's Singapore head and chief executive of postal services Vincent Phang told The Straits Times. "Once a sender locks in this stamp, say, through an app, it codes the sender's and recipient's information to the QR code," he said. "We can even explore sending some form of notification to the recipient to say there's something coming to him." While only a minority of mail can currently be tracked, "we see a future where every delivery is a trackable delivery", he added.

Electricity tariffs to rise 6.4% in third quarter to hit highest rate in nearly 5 years; gas tariffs to increase by 1.6% The Straits Times 29th Jun 2019
Electricity tariffs are set to rise by an average of 6.4 per cent in the third quarter of this year, SP Group said on Saturday (June 29). Gas tariffs for households are also set to increase by 1.6 per cent in the third quarter, City Gas said. For the period from July 1 to Sept 30, electricity tariffs will increase by 1.43 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh) compared to the previous quarter.

Defense & Security

Singapore Plans $296 Million for Next-Gen Army Training Facility Bloomberg.com 30th Jun 2019
Singapore will spend around S$400 million ($296 million) to build what it calls a next-generation smart training facility for its armed forces. The new training area, dubbed SAFTI City, will replicate urban areas and feature configurable buildings, battlefield simulators, targets with shoot-back capabilities and data analytics, Singapore’s Ministry of Defence said in a statement. The project’s first phase will be completed in 2023 and house more than 70 buildings, including three 12-story blocks, simulated underground facilities and urban training structures. Phase 2 will see the construction of an industrial complex for training, according to the statement.

Defence tech organisations must be agile and adaptable in addressing challenges: DSTA chief The Straits Times 28th Jun 2019
Due to the rapid growth of technology, new challenges as well as opportunities will arise, and organisations like the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) need to be "adaptable and agile" to keep up. Speaking on the third and final day of the Singapore Defence Technology Summit on Friday (June 28), DSTA chief executive Tan Peng Yam said: "We recognise the importance of incorporating advanced technology for Mindef (Ministry of Defence) and the SAF (Singapore Armed Forces). To do this well, we need DSTA to be adaptive and agile, and able to embrace commercial technology."

Fewer cyber threats detected here last year, but online crime still rising: CSA report The Straits Times 18th Jun 2019
The Republic is turning the tide in the struggle against cyber threats as there were fewer such incidents here last year, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) revealed on Tuesday (June 18). But in its third annual Cyber Landscape report, the CSA said that online crime has continued to rise and now accounts for almost a fifth of all crime in Singapore.

Businesses in Singapore lost nearly S$58 million to cyber attacks last year: CSA report Business Insider Singapore 18th Jun 2019
2018 was a great year for cybercrimes, and it doesn’t look like the numbers are going to fall anytime soon. A report by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) has revealed that a total of 6,179 cybercrime cases were reported in 2018, an increase from 5,351 in 2017. The report, released on Monday (June 17), revealed that cybercrimes accounted for about 19 per cent of the overall crime in Singapore last year.

What’s in the New US-Singapore Artificial Intelligence Defense Partnership? The Diplomat 1st Jul 2019
Last week, the United States and Singapore held an engagement that represented the first step by both countries to officially operationalize a defense partnership in the area of artificial intelligence (AI). Beyond its individual significance, the engagement also highlighted ongoing efforts by the two countries to strengthen cooperation in new areas of the security aspect of their bilateral ties.

What can Singapore do to counter rogue drones and airport incursions? TODAYonline 24th Jun 2019
The rapid proliferation of consumer drones poses a serious threat to commercial aviation. This point was driven home when several unauthorised drones intruded into restricted airspace around Singapore’s Changi Airport and disrupted its operation for about 10 hours on June 18 and 19...So what can be done to stop these rogue consumer drones? First, there is an assortment of counter-drone systems in the market now and they can be broadly categorised into kinetic and non-kinetic systems.

NDP 2019 to feature new aircraft, F-15SG fighter jet displays and 2,600-strong parade CNA 15th Jun 2019
Soaring over the Padang at this year's National Day Parade (NDP) will be the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) A330 Tanker Transport aircraft, which is set to make its debut, accompanied by two F-15SG fighter jets.

What’s in Singapore’s New Armored Fighting Vehicle? The Diplomat 14th Jun 2019
This week, Singapore officially commissioned its new armored fighting vehicle. The commissioning, which occurred as scheduled amid an anniversary parade, spotlighted one aspect of the country’s wider ongoing efforts to modernize its military capabilities. Singapore, one of the more capable militaries in the Asia-Pacific, has continued to modernize its military in recent years, with the goal of equipping the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) with new assets and technologies to become a next generation force.

Economics

Singapore aims to create 10,000 tech jobs in three years Singapore aims to create 10,000 tech jobs in three years 1st Jul 2019
Singapore on Wednesday said it has plans to create up to 10,000 jobs in the technology sector over three years in an initiative to establish the city-state as a global hub for the industry. The plan will be spearheaded by a new government office called Digital Industry Singapore (DISG), which consolidates efforts by various existing public bodies to encourage investment from foreign tech firms, support local business, and work with the industry to shape future policy.

S$10,000 SkillsFuture training subsidy launched for eligible SMEs The Business Times 29th Jun 2019
Singapore companies will be able to get more support in upgrading their workers' skills from July 1, when each eligible company will be able to tap into a government subsidy, capped at S$10,000, to offset training costs. The subsidy, called the SkillsFuture Training Subsidy (SFTS), can be used on top of the existing Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG), which currently provides funding support of up to 70 per cent of costs for selected productivity solutions. The subsidy, administered by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), will cover up to 70 per cent of a company's out-of-pocket training costs and can also be used on top of other government subsidies.

Singapore to review 2019 growth forecast as trade war bites; weaker Q2 expected: MAS The Straits Times 27th Jun 2019
Singapore policymakers will review a 1.5 to 2.5 per cent economic growth forecast for this year as the United States-China trade war hits investments, trade and manufacturing in the city, central bank chief Ravi Menon said on Thursday (June 27). The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) expects year-on-year economic growth to be weaker in the second quarter than a decade-low 1.2 per cent achieved in the first quarter due to a global slowdown partly caused by trade tensions, Mr Menon said. "The Singapore economy is in for a rougher ride but is well placed," Mr Menon said in a speech that accompanied the release of the central bank's annual report.

Singapore factory output falls 2.4% in May, worse than expected The Straits Times 26th Jun 2019
Singapore’s manufacturing output turned negative again last month, after a brief uptick of 0.1 per cent in April, led by a 10.8 per cent slide in the key electronics sector. Factory output fell 2.4 per cent in May compared with the same period last year, according to figures released by the Economic Development Board (EDB) on Wednesday (June 26). This was worse than the 1.8 per cent decline forecast by analysts in a poll by Bloomberg. But it was not as bas as the 4 per cent fall in March, which had been the sector’s first contraction in more than a year.

Singapore Heading for Recession Next Quarter, Maybank Says Bloomberg.com 26th Jun 2019
Singapore’s economy will probably experience a “shallow technical recession” in the third quarter as the global trade outlook worsens, according to Maybank Kim Eng Research. The escalating U.S.-China trade conflict is weighing on Singapore’s export-reliant economy, which Maybank expects will grow 1.3% this year, down from a previous projection of 1.6% and lower than the government’s forecast range of 1.5% to 2.5%. “Disruptions to the supply chain will likely intensify as the trade war broadens to tech and the U.S. imposes export controls on more Chinese tech firms,” Maybank economists Chua Hak Bin and Lee Ju Ye said in a note.

Singapore's weak non-oil exports likely to persist, say analysts The Straits Times 18th Jun 2019
Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (Nodx) are likely to remain weak in the months ahead given slow global growth and rising trade tensions, say observers. They cited the cyclical slowdown in the electronics market worldwide and the United States-China tariff war as key challenges. OCBC Bank economist Howie Lee said that the US' multiple trade barriers "are likely to crimp global disposable income, dampening worldwide demand for smartphones and PCs, and pushing the highly cyclical electronics industry into an even deeper downturn".

Electronics exports hit 10-year low, heralding further pain ahead The Business Times 18th Jun 2019
Singapore's electronics exports in May posted their sharpest contraction since 2009, dragged down by the US-China trade conflict, the fading of the semiconductor cycle and weakening external demand. Economists warn that electronics players should brace themselves for a long winter, as the ongoing US-China trade tension - the biggest wildcard - remains unresolved and the global appetite for chips wanes. Overall, non-oil domestic exports or NODX, of which electronics is a subset, posted a dismal showing in May, plunging by 15.9 per cent, the biggest fall in more than three years. Enterprise Singapore, in the release of the monthly trade data, noted that this was due to the high base in May last year.

Singapore's exports down 15.9% in May CNA 17th Jun 2019
Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) fell by 15.9 per cent in May, data from trade agency Enterprise Singapore showed on Monday (Jun 17). The drop, partly due to a sharp decline in shipments to China, was slightly smaller than the 16.5 per cent decline predicted by economists in a Reuters poll, but more than the 10 per cent fall seen in April.

Energy

Singapore plans huge 50MW floating solar project RenewEconomy 5th Jul 2019
Singapore’s national water agency will work with Norwegian technical consultancy DNV GL to develop what will be one of the largest single floting solar systems in the world – a 50MW project planned for the Tengeh Reservoir in the island’s north-west. DNV GL announced on Thursday that it had been contracted by Singapore’s Public Utilities Board (PUB) as technical advisor for the 50MW floating solar PV project.

Pre-assembled concept proposed for 10 GW Northern Territory PV project pv magazine Australia 26th Jun 2019
Ambitious plans have been announced for a 15,000 hectare solar array near Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. If built, the 10 GW solar farm will join the ranks of the world’s biggest solar parks and be coupled with a massive battery of an unspecified capacity. The project plans to export electricity to both Darwin and Singapore.

Singapore's Pavilion Energy to acquire LNG assets of Spain's Iberdrola Reuters 25th Jun 2019
Singapore’s Pavilion Energy said on Thursday its wholly owned subsidiary has agreed to buy Spanish energy company Iberdrola’s portfolio of liquefied natural gas (LNG) assets. The portfolio comprises about 4 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of Iberdrola’s long-term LNG sale and supply contracts, Pavilion said in a statement.

Singapore’s Sunseap Receives $43 Million Green Loan to Install 210 Rooftop Solar Systems Mercom India 25th Jun 2019
Sunseap Group, a Singapore-based renewable energy firm, has secured a $43 million green loan from the United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB) to increase the reach of solar power in the country. The Southeast Asian renewable energy company will use this loan to install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on 210 rooftops, ranging from commercial and industrial premises to government establishments. Altogether, the sites have a total solar capacity of 37 MW, which would provide power to more than 9,600 four-room flats of the Housing & Development Board (HDB) for a year.

Financial Services

ADB To Open New Singapore Office To Expand Private Sector Operations Ministry of Finance Republic of Indonesia 1st Jul 2019
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will open an office in Singapore to support the expansion of its private sector operations. An agreement establishing the new office was signed today on the sidelines of the G20 Summit by ADB President Mr. Takehiko Nakao and Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Mr. Heng Swee Keat. 2 DPM Heng said, “ADB has estimated that developing Asia will need US$1.7 trillion per year in infrastructure investments until 2030 to maintain the region’s growth momentum. To meet this need, Governments will need to work with multi-lateral development banks, to make projects bankable and investible, in order to draw in private capital. We are happy that ADB sees value in tapping on Singapore’s financial and services ecosystem, to catalyze the flow of private capital to meet the infrastructure needs in our region. Singapore looks forward to deepening our relationship with the ADB to help countries in the region realize their Sustainable Development Goals.”

Singapore to allow digital banks; MAS issuing up to 5 new licences: Tharman The Straits Times 28th Jun 2019
Up to five new digital bank licences will be issued here, paving the way for non-bank players to break into a local financial services scene dominated by a handful of traditional providers. Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced the move on Friday night (June 28) at the 46th Annual Dinner of The Association of Banks in Singapore at Raffles City Convention Centre. Mr Tharman, who is also chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), said the new digital bank licences mark the next chapter in Singapore's banking liberalisation journey and ensure that Singapore's banking sector continues to be resilient, competitive and vibrant.

CapBridge and UOB sign agreement to provide companies across Asia with access to private capital MSN 25th Jun 2019
Global private capital platform CapBridge has signed an agreement with United Overseas Bank Ltd (UOB) to offer a range of private capital solutions to private, high-growth companies in Singapore and in the Bank’s key markets including China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. This is CapBridge’s first collaboration with a Singapore bank to provide companies with such alternative financing solutions and draws upon the combined market expertise of two Singapore-headquartered financial institutions and the country’s strength as a global financial centre. Through its investment syndication platform, CapBridge will match UOB’s clients with anchor investors and accredited 2 co-investors, catalysing private capital as a source of funding and helping these companies to broaden their investor base further.

Asia Pacific – Banking, financial services and insurance industry reports growth in online recruitment Staffing Industry Analysts 17th Jun 2019
The banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) industry in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines reported year-on-year growth in online recruitment in April 2019, according to the latest Monster Employment Index. Singapore’s BFSI industry recorded 26% year-on-year increase in demand in April while the Philippines recorded a 13% increase followed by Malaysia which reported a 1% increase. Monster.com's APAC and Gulf CEO Abhijeet Mukherjee told The Edge Markets that a major transformation is underway in the banking and finance industry at the moment, as organisations become increasingly reliant on AI to simplify and automate processes.

Singapore’s Colocation Market to Nearly Double by 2023 Data Center Knowledge 11th Jun 2019
The Singapore data center colocation market is projected to nearly double in the next five years as hyperscale cloud providers; content and digital media companies; and network and IT service providers expand further into emerging markets in Southeast Asia, according to a new report by cloud and data center focused Structure Research. Singapore is a major financial center, so it’s a natural colocation hub to serve emerging markets in Southeast Asia and in India, said Jabez Tan, Structure’s head of research.

Food & Agriculture

Technology fuels food industry growth The Straits Times 1st Jul 2019
Agriculture does not come first to mind as a thriving industry here. Yet in recent years, there has been a concerted push by the Government to encourage innovation in farming technology as well as growing the local food supply. There are signs these initiatives are starting to pay dividends. Recently, German chemical giant Evonik opened its second plant to produce an animal feed additive. The facility, an investment of more than $768 million, is due in large part to Singapore's position as a trade and logistics hub, which gives the company access to regional markets. The Singapore Food Agency also put a tender up for 10 land parcels for farming in Lim Chu Kang, emphasising that proposals with higher productivity and better sustainability are likelier to win the tender.

Warming to slash equivalent of 80 million jobs by 2030: UN The Straits Times 1st Jul 2019
As climate change worsens, growing heat stress on workers in agriculture and other sectors will cause a productivity loss equal to 80 million full-time jobs over the next decade, the UN warned on Monday (July 1).A report from the International Labour Organisation estimated that in 2030, 2.2 per cent of total working hours worldwide will be lost because of higher temperatures. The percentage is expected to be more than double that in the hardest-hit regions, western Africa and southern Asia, according to the report, Working on a warmer planet: The impact of heat stress on labour productivity.

Health & Life Sciences

S'pore drug development gets another shot in the arm The Business Times 27th Jun 2019
A*STAR officially opened the new Experimental Drug Development Centre (EDDC) on Wednesday to take more made-in-Singapore drugs from early-stage drug discovery to clinical trials and commercialisation. Towards this end, the statutory board also launched the Target Translation Consortium (TTC), which coordinates drug discovery efforts in academia, healthcare institutions and government agencies, and consolidated three existing A*Star grants into the Singapore Therapeutics Development Review (STDR).

Singapore ratifies international convention on workplace safety and health The Straits Times 12th Jun 2019
Singapore has adopted an international agreement which commits the Republic to creating, implementing, and periodically reviewing a national policy on workplace safety and health, in consultation with employers and workers. Manpower Minister Josephine Teo announced on Wednesday (June 12) in Geneva, Switzerland that Singapore has ratified the International Labour Organization's (ILO) Occupational Safety and Health Convention. Speaking at the 108th International Labour Conference, Mrs Teo said that in Singapore's vision of the future, workplace safety and health "remains a key priority", and the ratification reaffirms its strong commitment to provide workers with safe and healthy work conditions.

IEV Holdings in talks to diversify into healthcare business The Business Times 25th Jun 2019
Catalist-listed IEV Holdings is currently in talks with "certain unrelated third parties" for a transaction that may result in a diversification into the healthcare and wellness business. Among other things, the deal is subject to due diligence and valuation, as well as approvals from the relevant authorities and shareholders. The company added that there is no certainty or assurance that a transaction will arise from these discussions, and that it will make appropriate announcements when there are material developments on this matter.

Novena Global Lifecare to set up US$150m Sino-Singapore healthcare fund Singapore Business Review 25th Jun 2019
Novena Global Lifecare to set up US$150m Sino-Singapore healthcare fund. It will invest in medical services, biomedical projects, mature drugs and precision medicine companies. Integrated medical healthcare and aesthetic firm Novena Global Lifecare announced that Sinopharm Capital Co. and Cedarlake Capital Group have achieved a strategic new money investment of up to $27.4m (US$20m) into the company as part of for its latest growth fundraising. Independently, the three parties will set up create a new Sino-Singapore Healthcare Fund with a target size of setpoint value of $203.7m (US$150m) which will be invested in a portfolio of companies involved in medical services, biomedical projects, mature drugs and precision medicine. Sinopharm Capital is an equity investment institution centering on healthcare, which is founded by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and Sinopharm Capital’s management team. Cedarlake Capital is an international private equity firm specializing on cross-border investment and advisory.

Singapore ranked No. 3 in survey on use of AI in healthcare The Straits Times 20th Jun 2019
Singapore lags behind China and Saudi Arabia in poll of medical professionals in 15 countries. Healthcare professionals in Singapore are using artificial intelligence (AI) for clinical diagnosis more than their counterparts in most other countries, except China and Saudi Arabia. "Technology will never replace the human touch, but AI can take over mundane tasks and free up medical professionals. This can help to improve precision, efficiency and speed, leading to better outcomes for patients." - Ms Clarke.

Weekly dengue cases in Singapore spike to highest in more than 3 years CNA 18th Jun 2019
SINGAPORE: There were a total of 468 reported dengue cases in the week ending Jun 15, the highest since March 2016, according to data by the National Environment Agency (NEA). "The number of weekly reported dengue cases have more than quadrupled in the past three months," the agency said on its website. As of 3pm on Monday (Jun 17), there were 5,261 reported cases, more than the 3,285 cases reported in the whole of 2018 and 2,772 cases in all of 2017. The number of active dengue clusters has also more than doubled in the past month to 112, as of Monday. There are 31 high-risk areas with 10 or more cases, including areas in Woodlands, Chai Chee and Geylang.  Parts of Bedok, Jurong East and Hougang are also among the high-risk areas. You can find the full list, including the streets and blocks, on NEA's website.   Four people have died from dengue this year amid the spike in the number of cases. In May, a 63-year-old man became the fourth person to die from dengue in 2019.

ICT

Singapore announces nearly $30 million for 5G research and innovation CNBC 27th Jun 2019
Singapore plans to become an innovation hub for the next generation of high-speed mobile internet known as 5G. On Thursday, the country's minister for communications and information, S Iswaran, said the city-state has set aside 40 million Singapore dollars (more than $29.5 million) to support 5G research and innovation. "Our aim is to facilitate the deployment of standalone 5G networks to tap into the potential of the technology," Iswaran said at the Innovfest Unbound conference.

Singapore puts shoebox-size satellite into orbit to test next-gen cyber security technology The Straits Times 18th Jun 2019
A nanosatellite, developed by a team of Singapore researchers looking for a breakthrough in cyber security and data encryption, has been put into orbit. Slightly smaller than a shoebox, SpooQy-1 was launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa) to the International Space Station (ISS) in April, and then deployed into orbit on Monday (June 17).

New guidelines for companies to share data responsibly The Straits Times 29th Jun 2019
Businesses in Singapore can now refer to a new set of guidelines on how to share data in a responsible way so that they can access information needed to create better products and services, and to reduce business costs. The Trusted Data Sharing Framework spells out best practices for companies to share data that comply with privacy guidelines so that there is trust among consumers and business partners in data flows. The framework was developed by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the privacy watchdog, the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC), in consultation with the industry. It can be downloaded from IMDA's website.

New digital industry office to spearhead tech sector growth, creation of 10,000 jobs The Myanmar Times 28th Jun 2019
The office is expected to lead to the creation of some 10,000 jobs over the next three years, Communications and Information Minister S Iswaran said on Wednesday (June 26). It brings together 45 officers from the Economic Development Board, Enterprise Singapore and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

Singapore to start testing 5G before high-speed network rollout The Star Online 27th Jun 2019
Singapore has committed S$40mil (RM122.33mil) in preliminary spending to support the adoption of fifth-generation wireless technology before it begins rolling out the high-speed network next year. The funds will be used for early trials in different industries and for research and development in 5G cybersecurity, Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran, said in a speech on June 27 in the city-state.

Majority of Singapore firms can't keep up with cloud adoption, suspect data being sold on Dark Web: Poll The Straits Times 25th Jun 2019
Immature security practices, overtaxed IT staff and risky end-user behaviour by employees surrounding cloud adoption are threatening cloud security at companies worldwide, according to a study by US-headquartered cyber-security firm Symantec. In Singapore, almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of companies believe that their cyber-security practices are not able to mature quickly enough to keep up with the rapid expansion of cloud applications, Symantec said in a press statement on Tuesday (June 25).

Over half of SMEs still in early stages of digital maturity: report Singapore Business Review 19th Jun 2019
Digital transformation in 44.6% of SMEs already has some alignment to company strategies. About 55.5% of SMEs in Singapore is still in the early stages of digital maturity, with digitalisation programs remaining largely unaligned with the broader enterprise strategy and multiple initiatives running in parallel across business functions, EY revealed.

Rapid e-commerce growth to drive Singapore's logistics services sector: Colliers report The Straits Times 17th Jun 2019
The rapid growth in e-commerce demand for retail purchases represents an opportunity for the logistics services market to grow further in Singapore, said Colliers International in a report. The Glimpsing the Road Ahead: Reshaping the Logistics Market report, citing a study by the payments technology company WorldPay, said the e-commerce market in Singapore is tipped to expand 48 per cent to US$7.4 billion ($10.15 billion) by 2022 at a compound annual growth rate of 7 per cent.

Despite 5G fanfare, mobile operators still boosting older network connections The Straits Times 11th Jun 2019
Singtel has pushed mobile users' network coverage in Singapore past a key threshold, according to findings from an industry analytics firm. The Republic clocked 90.2 per cent 4G access in May 2019, up from 84.4 per cent in February 2018 - meaning that more than nine in 10 users here were able to lock onto LTE (Long Term Evolution) networks, rather than older, slower 3G ones, for the first time.

Infrastructure

Construction work begins for second phase of Tuas port The Straits Times 5th Jul 2019
Construction work on the second phase of the Tuas mega port began yesterday with the installation of the first concrete structure for the wharf. A total of 227 concrete structures or caissons, each weighing 13,000 tonnes, will be installed over the next eight years to construct the wharf, the largest in the mega port. Almost 400ha of land will be reclaimed for the second phase, which will have 21 container berths and be able to handle 21 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of cargo annually.

MPA launches GeoSpace-Sea, a Singapore marine and coastal database The Straits Times 28th Jun 2019
A new database on Singapore's waters, from its coastlines to the seabed, was launched on Friday (June 28) by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). Dubbed GeoSpace-Sea, it aims to provide comprehensive geospatial data for port and coastal planning, among other things, as well as environmental management.

Smart solutions in the pipeline for Singapore's industrial parks The Straits Times 27th Jun 2019
Eight technology firms have been awarded a total of $1.5 million to use digital means to help manage buildings and amenities in six industrial parks in Singapore. This is part of Singapore's drive to support the use of technology in building, maintaining and managing the country's urban centres, said Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran at the opening of an annual technology conference on Thursday (June 27).

Singapore financiers look to put region’s infrastructure on track Financial Times 27th Jun 2019
Singapore’s Changi airport reinforced its reputation as one of the world’s best airports in April when it opened Jewel, a shopping centre-cum-botanic garden with a 40-metre waterfall — the tallest such indoor feature in the world. Ever restless, the city state is planning a fifth airport terminal, due to open in 2030, bolstering Changi’s image as a global showcase for Singapore’s ability to deliver urban infrastructure for the 21st century.

SMRT, SBS Transit join hands on rail competence The Straits Times 18th Jun 2019
In a move which will see Singapore's two rail operators working formally together for the first time, SMRT and SBS Transit signed a collaboration memorandum of understanding (MOU) with defence and engineering group ST Engineering yesterday. Under the MOU, the three parties will share engineering knowledge and capabilities in various areas to add depth and breadth to their maintenance and engineering expertise.

Building resilience against natural disasters among ways Singapore can help Asia grow sustainably: Heng Swee Keat CNA 12th Jun 2019
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is currently developing the market for insurance-linked securities (ILS) as an alternative risk-financing solution, said Acting Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Wednesday. This can help strengthen Asia’s resiliency against natural catastrophes – one of the three broad ways Singapore can contribute to sustainable growth in the region, according to Mr Heng. The other two ways include bridging partnerships for regional infrastructure development opportunities through Singapore’s Infrastructure Asia initiative, and promoting sustainable economic growth by growing its sustainable finance sector.

Travel & Tourism

Malaysia Airlines expands code-sharing with Singapore Airlines Nikkei Asian Review 28th Jun 2019
Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines agreed to broaden code-sharing outside their two countries on Friday in a strategic arrangement seen as a potential prelude to a capital tie-up. The deal "could include a significant expansion of code-share flights beyond Singapore-Malaysia routes," the carriers said in a news release. Frequent flyer programs, as well as cargo, maintenance, repair and overhaul services were also cited as targets for cooperation as the partners seek to trim costs.

STB opens call for entries for Singapore Tourism Accelerator TTG Asia 26th Jun 2019
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is calling for local and international companies to join the Singapore Tourism Accelerator programme. The pilot programme, which will run for two years, aims to develop solutions to long-standing issues, as well as developing new ideas that will transform the tourism sector. Poh Chi Chuan, director, digital transformation, STB said: “With increasing disruption faced by the tourism sector, we are committed to help our industry partners meet the challenges and stay ahead of the competition. “The Singapore Tourism Accelerator gives us a platform to work with companies with innovative solutions that can be applied across the industry and to enhance the overall visitor experience.” The accelerator was first announced during the 2019 Tourism Industry Conference as the Singapore Tourism Incubator.

Integrated Resorts to invest S$9 billion in new world-class attractions and experiences Singapore Ministry of Finance 17th Jun 2019
The two Integrated Resorts (IRs) have committed around S$9 billion in non-gaming investments to build new world-class tourism and MICE facilities and attractions, many of which will be first-in-Singapore. The IRs’ investments will enhance the vibrancy and tourism appeal of their offerings to remain competitive with other destinations in the region, and bring in more than half a million additional visitors annually. Singaporeans can look forward to more lifestyle and entertainment options. The IR expansions will create up to 5,000 new jobs directly and benefit local businesses, including small and medium enterprises.