In today’s Committee of Supply (COS) remarks, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) presented intentions to create a Digitally Secure, Economically Vibrant, and Socially Stable Singapore. Recognizing how digitalization is changing the way we live, study, work, and play, the Ministry’s policies are aimed at empowering Singaporeans to take advantage of the benefits of becoming digital while also ensuring their safety and security.
Minister Teo stated intentions to adopt legislative measures to make online spaces safe, improve data privacy for consumers and companies, and increase the security and resilience of digital infrastructure and services in order to protect Singaporeans online. Minister Teo also introduced a new Alternative Dispute Resolution system, which would give consumers and small companies an inexpensive and effective dispute resolution option when they have contractual problems with telecommunications and media service providers. The program will begin in April 2022.
Mr. Tan Kiat How, Minister of State (MOS) for Communications and Information, announced the introduction of the new Data Protection Essentials program, which will be accessible from April 1, 2022, to assist companies to secure their customer data and recovering fast from a data breach. The Cyber Trust Mark and Cyber Essentials Mark, which will be released at the end of March 2022, will recognize businesses that have solid cybersecurity policies.
MOS Tan urged SMEs to take advantage of the digitization momentum that increased across the economy during the Covid-19 epidemic and reaffirmed the government’s commitment to assisting firms as they digitally transform and internationalize. SMEs will receive greater assistance, such as through the Advanced Digital Solutions initiative, which will deliver more AI-enabled and cloud-based integrated solutions. Under the Grow Digital initiative, the government will also establish a larger array of e-commerce platforms to allow SMEs to reach foreign markets without the need for a physical presence.
MOS Tan also emphasized the significance of government collaboration with businesses and institutions of higher learning in order to provide access to employment and opportunities in the Digital Economy for more Singaporeans. The Singapore Institute of Technology will also offer a new degree program (Bachelor of Science with Honours in Applied Computing, with a specialty in FinTech) to train a core of Singaporean talent for highly specialized employment in the digital sector.
Dr. Janil Puthucheary, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State (SMS) for Communications and Information, stressed the necessity of developing digital infrastructure and pushing technical frontiers to suit the country’s future demands. In line with the Government’s commitment to the sustainable development of the data center sector, he announced that the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the Economic Development Board (EDB) will pilot a Call for Application to construct data centers that prioritize energy efficiency and decarbonization.
Singapore’s plan to establish a safe and robust global Digital Economy with foreign partners was also articulated by SMS Janil. Singapore has inked Digital Economy Agreements (DEAs) with four nations so far, he said. International partners have expressed interest in Singapore’s focus on building cybersecurity standards to enable trustworthy and secure usage of technology and devices, according to SMS Janil.
Singapore and the United Kingdom will sign three Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) in the areas of Digital Trade Facilitation, Digital Identities, and Cybersecurity to collaborate more closely to ease digital trade between the two governments. Businesses will be able to conduct digital transactions that are easier, safer, and less expensive as a result of the agreement.