An economic powerhouse, Singapore has long been a preferred location for companies that are aiming to expand their operations in Southeast Asia. On top of the current opportunities that the city-state’s vibrant and strong economy presents to businesses and entrepreneurs, Singapore is also poised for tremendous future growth. The country’s government makes an effort to stay on top of emerging trends that may dictate the trajectory of global consumption habits. These are the trends that the government is keeping an eye out for and will make a lasting impact on businesses that are based in Singapore in the coming years.
A Stronger Emergence of “Business for Good”
The idea of “business for good” hinges on the belief that companies can have positive social impacts and generate profits for shareholders at the same time. Entrepreneurs who adhere to this model use their businesses as a seed for inspiring positive changes in society. This can be done by making efforts to lower levels of poverty, supporting programs that campaign for reducing inequality, and taking active steps to preserve and improve the environment. At an age where people are more determined to make informed choices and use their resources to support their advocacies, companies that stand for a noble cause can make a better impression on their target markets.
The Singapore government is actively working with businesses that stand for a purpose while making a profit. These include some of the most successful Singapore companies and household brands, such as automobile leader Hyundai, mobile tech firm Grab, and renewable diesel provider Neste, among others.
The Rapid Digitalisation of Industries and Businesses
Industry 4.0, which is also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, refers to the rapid changes in technology and industries brought about by increasing connectivity and smart automation. The latest evolution of manufacturing, much like the ones that came before it, is expected to transform businesses and the way individuals and organisations consume various products and services. There’s an expected rise in demand for hybrid or online and offline services. For example, healthcare providers may be expected to have apps where their clients can book consultations, schedule tests, or order products, functionalities that can complement the onsite services that these companies provide.
Due to the changing nature of the workplace and the growing number of companies that are open to hybrid work arrangements, the demand for cybersecurity, 3D printing, and other similar sectors is also expected to increase in the foreseeable future. Singapore has long set its sights on becoming a world-class tech-driven city-state. In recent years, the country has cinched top spots in international lists for digital inclusiveness, smart cities, and technology hubs.
Supply Chain Fragmentation and Reconfiguration
Aided by technology platforms, global supply chains are expanding, fragmenting, and becoming more complex. Using the same platforms, buyers can integrate materials and products that come from a wide variety of sources, all while keeping track of the origin and add-on values of goods and supplies with greater accuracy.
Singapore has kept its place as the top logistics hub in Asia for the past decade, and it can continue capitalising on its strong position as a regional centre for major businesses in different industries in the coming years. This is in part due to the country’s central physical location and continuous investment in the research and development of world-class tools and facilities for connectivity. Singapore will continue to reap the benefits of these investments and be prepared to meet the needs of the top logistics providers while the rest of the world tries to catch up with changes in supply chain processes.
A Pressing Need for Sustainable Business Practices
The effects of climate change and resource scarcity will become more pronounced in the coming decades, and it’s imperative for countries, industries, and businesses to do their part in curbing the cause of these ecological changes. A forward-looking country, Singapore has championed sustainable development for many years, and it’s currently pushing to half its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, with the goal to bring this down to zero by the second half of the century. The current phase of the project is dubbed the Singapore Green Plan 2030, and currently, about a third of the businesses in the country are strongly aligned with the green strategies that the government is pushing.
Climate change will inevitably affect every nation on the planet, but mitigating its impact is everyone’s responsibility. Initiating and continuing programs that promote recycling, waste reduction, and the use of green energy is fast becoming a standard for many businesses and consumers.
The Changing Demands of an Aging Demographic
People are living longer, and the population in developed countries like Singapore are growing older. In 2020, for example, the share of the resident population aged 65 years and older in the city-state has reached 15.2 per cent, and this share is expected to grow to 25 per cent by 2030. This will lead to a rise in demand for elderly care and health programs and a shift in the demands of the market. As early as now, the country is laying the groundwork for programs that will enable elderly citizens to access integrated long-term healthcare services. At the same time, many businesses can focus on the development of digital solutions and services that cater to the needs of the growing population of ageing people.
To bolster the resiliency of the nation’s economy, the government and the business sector must make a consolidated effort to anticipate these trends and ensure that they are in the best position to reap the benefits of these changes in the market. By working together, the government can ensure that Singapore will continue to be an attractive base of operation for companies, and businesses can keep on meeting the changing needs of the markets in and out of the Lion City.