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Singapore’s policymakers have driven a coherent campaign promoting Singapore as an Asian technology centre, in addition to its role as a global finance centre. But does the city-state have sustainable fundamentals in place across scale, scope and ecosystem economies to establish itself as Asia’s pre-eminent technology capital?

Despite a number of sound fundamentals, the situation is uncertain. It lacks the sizeable talent pools and domestic economies of larger neighbours like Malaysia or Indonesia, let alone China and India with their multiple hubs and large internal markets. …

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Note: I first posted this piece on LinkedIn. It retreads prior developements from previous pieces and amalgamates in from a new angle, about the lack of a finance-growth nexus in Singapore.

In the post-COVID world, Singapore’s efforts to sustain its commercial-finance centre and entrepreneurial hub ambitions, underwritten by significant economies of scope and ecosystems, will fall short unless it establishes a capital markets-economic growth nexus (finance-growth nexus).

There is a clear relationship between the development level of capital market sub-components, involving mutual/pension funds, corporate bond, stock and government bond markets, and broader economic growth.

The capital market ecosystems of Hong…

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Ecological sustainability will underpin the post-COVID 19 economic recovery in Southeast Asia and the broader Indo-Asia Pacific (Indo-APAC). With government stimulus packages worldwide kickstarting economies, sustainable assets in the green and blue economies will be among the major beneficiaries of these capital flows, generating new jobs benefit the most from this

At end-2018, at least $30.7 trillion of funds were held in sustainable investments, a 34 percent increase from 2016, according to the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA). …

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The initial public offer (IPO) of Nanofilm Technologies on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) may represent the same inflection point that the listing of Xero Technologies did for the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

The listing of Xero in late 2012 laid the foundation for the ASX to establish its brand as an ‘“Asia-Pacific Nasdaq”. It has positioned itself as a bourse able to support the finance needs of growth-stage technology enterprises.

So will Nanofilm’s listing in October 2020 enable the SGX to burnish itself as a platform for technology enterprises?

In 2020, Singapore saw the number of public companies on Singapore…

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With Singapore seeking to revive its lacklustre equities market, it may have the potential to forge a niche as a dual listings node for corporates looking to tap Asian capital markets and internationalise.

If the secondary listing of NYSE-listed AMTD International on the Singapore bourse in April 2020 is any indication, it could build an appeal to technology and finance firms seeking international capital exposure. This is especially relevant as technology major Grab, Singapore’s most visible and valuable venture-backed technology enterprise, prepares for a US$2.7 billion share sale in New York. …

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Singapore can revive its economic engine and equity markets with Central Provident Fund (CPF) reforms. Tapping CPF cash to induce positive feedback loops between Singapore’s pension assets and capital markets can economically revive the domestic economy and mitigate the risks of income disparity in the post-COVID world.

Successful financial centres like New York City, London and Hong Kong enjoy major economic benefits, generating significant revenue through financial services. In 2018, Hong Kong’s financial services sector accounted for 20% of GDP and 7% of the workforce, compared to 13.9% of GDP and 5% of the workforce in Singapore.

However, Singapore’s strength…

Inderjit Singh Dhaliwal, a former parliamentarian aligned with Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) during his political career, reckons that Singapore must radically evolve rather than relying on the old formulas that have sustained it.

With a career spanning corporate roles at Texas Instruments, as well as an entrepreneurial career with the founding of United Test and Assembly Center (UTAC), a semiconductor firm, in 1998 — valued at US$2b in 2001 and mostly funded by Taiwanese friends — according to details in a Business Time interview dating to 2006, he has also built up Tri-Star, a trading and services firm…

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Incorporating Singapore’s Housing & Development Board (HDB) apartment complexes — the city-state’s public housing assets — into residential infrastructure trusts can mitigate the issue of HDB lease decay. Additionally, it has the potential to enhance retirement adequacy of its pension system, the Central Provident Fund (CPF), as well as deepening its strength in real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Often cited as an leading example of public housing worldwide for its replicability, it also exemplifies the technocratic governing philosophy of “think ahead, think again and think across”. …

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Singapore can be a key enabler of the Vladivostok-Chennai Maritime Corridor (VCMC). By strengthening relations with India and Russia, it builds strategic autonomy amidst US-China rivalry.

Leveraging its logistics and maritime infrastructure, it can remain a competitive commercial centre amid geopolitical gyrations and international economic competition while augmenting the strategic Indo-Russian partnership.

Alex Wicks, CEO-Founder of Myanmar logistics startup Karzo.

What led you to start Karzo? Your professional background was in media. How did you go from film production to starting a logistics company in Myanmar and what was that that journey?

It started a long time. I left Australia and ended up in Myanmar
running a logistics startup is because of a girl that I followed to France many years ago. We lived in Sydney, where I worked in the film industry for a number of years. Then I moved to France with my ex-partner. …

Shiwen Yap

Versatile businessperson based out of Singapore.

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