When it comes to innovation, Singapore is ranked number one in Asia and eighth globally.
It is also the leader in key areas such as fintech, urban solutions and sustainability, advanced manufacturing and engineering, health and biomedical sciences, and services and digital economy.
So it comes as no surprise that Railsbank recently opened an office in Singapore, the company’s springboard into Asia.
The country’s recent lead in the fintech sector will be highlighted at the forthcoming Singapore Fintech Festival which takes place from Monday 11th November to Wednesday 13th November.
And the accepted reasons for why Singapore has become South East Asia's powerhouse are well known. Supportive government policies, skilled manpower, highly developed technology infrastructure and a strong intellectual property regime all play their part. Which is why the country is now home to headquarters of thousands of multinational companies.
Indeed, it is an economy driven by innovation, according to the Intuit Management Consultancy (IMC).
IMC believes that two major aspects have contributed to Singapore's emergence as a global business hub: its thriving research and innovation ecosystem. Singapore has been able to meet the needs of the global market through collaboration between the private sector and government to innovate solutions.
What’s more, this process of promoting innovation started way back in the 1990s when the government of Singapore started to invest heavily in its research institutions and universities. The aim was to build research and development capabilities, and a talented workforce. In recent years, various efforts were made to focus on growing private sector R&D capabilities and groom highly innovative enterprises. For example, the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) plan have been allotted an incredible investment, some $19bn for 2020.
It is also a great place for startups. Incredibly, it is home to more than 40,000 fledgling companies. The strong startup ethos and ecosystem is supported by private players and government agencies.
Out of the 12 Southeast Asian unicorns, six are present in Singapore. To support the startups, there are 100 venture builders, accelerators, incubators and 150 venture capital funds. The investment arm, SEEDS Capital makes the investment in most nascent and strategic industries.
To support startups, the Enterprise Singapore has partnered with public and private sector players to establish Startup SG. This startup program has supported the growth of more than 1,160 startups in the country in various sectors like fintech, health, digital services and urban solutions.
Which all suggests that Singapore is going to remain a key player for many years to come.