Singapore vows to contribute to global recovery

People cross a street in the shopping district of Orchard Road in Singapore amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

Singapore will contribute to global recovery by continuing to invest in innovation and working in collaboration with Asia and the world, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Monday.

Heng, who is also the coordinating minister for economic policies and minister for finance, said the country is committed to investing in innovation, and its government invests about 1 per cent of Singapore’s GDP on research and development every year.

In his opening address at the Singapore Fintech Festival and the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology 2020 (SFF x Switch 2020), the Deputy Prime Minister said Singapore continues to deepen its capabilities to keep the tech eco-system vibrant.

“FinTech is one key area we are growing so that it can continue to develop as a global financial hub,” he added.

Heng announced the launch of the Asian Institute of Digital Finance at the SFF x Switch 2020, saying this institute will have a strong role in nurturing global FinTech talent for Asia, and will take in its first batch of post-graduate students next year.

The institute, hosted by the National University of Singapore and backed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the National Research Foundation, will have a project to build a data-sharing platform that can train models to improve credit assessments.

He also announced the launch of Singapore Blockchain Innovation Programme, which is Singapore’s first major blockchain research and translation programme.

The programme will expand blockchain research to the needs of the industry, and will also look into scalability and interoperability of blockchain solutions.

Besides, Heng announced the launch of Singapore Financial Data Exchange, which he said is the world’s first public digital infrastructure that allows a person to sign-in using his national digital identity and provide consent to obtain his financial information from different financial institutions and government agencies.

Meanwhile, Singapore is strengthening collaboration.

Heng said through the Open Innovation Network, Singapore brought together startups and corporates to address common industry challenges, and it has seen an increase in participation from companies based outside Singapore despite the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our commitment to innovation and to work together will be key to driving economic recovery and growth,” he said.

SFF x Switch 2020 will continue till December 12.

According to the official website, this year’s SFF x Switch event will expand to become the world’s first week-long round-the-clock, hybrid digital and physical event for attendees.

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