Covid-19 Unveils Need to Accelerate Smart Nation Drive

Smart Nation
With mandatory lock-downs and work from home orders befalling us all globally, one key take away we can agree on is that the world needs to digitalise or die.

Part of the Digital Government Blueprint tabled back in 2018,  the Smart Nation initiative is an ongoing digital revolution, that recognises how advancements in digital technologies are transforming the way we live, work and play. Singapore envisions Smart Nation to lead the economy powered by digital innovation, and a world-class city with a Government that provides citizens the best home possible, complying with their different and changing needs.

What Covid-19 has clearly showed the world is that at all levels (Enterprises, Schools, Workers, Students, Families) – we are all going digital. From the swift adoption of digital alternatives to the abrupt transition from traditional office to home office setup, the world is changing rapidly, and we will need to be ready to embrace ‘new norms’.

Foreign Talent Vital For Singapore Immigration

As immigration professionals, the Circuit Breaker provided us with an opportunity to analyse how foreigners in Singapore can make use of this period to elevate their chances of securing Singapore PR / Citizenship. Simply by knowing how to put together a compelling case profile, candidates with the right skill-sets and experience can stand out from other applicants.

Further, Singapore is already looking ahead to overcome this pandemic with resilience and fortitude. To do this, Singapore cannot do it alone. In the last few weeks, ministers from the various government bodies have reaffirmed how vital, foreign talent contribution is to the economy.

If you are keen to apply for either Singapore Permanent Residence or Citizenship, you can take light that to date, there are no major policies that has been meted out to freeze nor reduce annual approval quotas. On the contrary, below are some reasons why Singapore probably needs you if you have a strong Digital / Tech background.

3 Reasons Why Singapore Needs Digital/Tech Foreign Talent

1. Singapore and Southeast Asia is still relatively New to Digitalisation

The required expertise in driving digital talent is lacking. In a study released in 2019, recruitment consultancy Robert Walters found that in South-east Asia, close to 70 per cent of hiring managers took at least three months to fill an open tech position.

2. Singapore Still Looks to Foreign Talent to Complement Local Talent

With a low birth rate and ageing population, the total foreign talent contribution to manpower in Singapore stands at about 30-35% of total national employment (1.68M including foreign domestic workers) and reducing migrant worker population will affect Singapore’s competitive edge, lead to higher costs. Given Singapore’s limited manpower resources, we would not be able to stay competitive if there are insufficient migrant workers to complement the local workforce.

3. Already Contributing to Smart Nation via one of the Smart Nation projects

To drive pervasive adoption of digital and smart technologies throughout Singapore, the government has identified key Strategic National Projects, which are key enablers to the Smart Nation drive and include areas of Cybersecurity and Data Privacy, as well as enabling a healthy ecosystem of start-ups. In the Fortitude budget announcement earlier this week, the Singapore government has pledged adequate funding to ensure that strategic start-ups continue to receive access to resources and see through development.

Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran said there is an opportunity now to give digitalisation “a renewed impetus and push”. He added: “We will do our utmost to ensure that every Singaporean is digitally ready. We will work with community and corporate partners, and canvass widely for ideas.”

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