• 22 February 2022

On the way to Digital Economies

   Vision / Implementation of Digital Strategies by foreign countries

With 2021 behind us, we are looking ahead to an uncertain future. But one thing is certain: 2022 and the decade ahead will be distinguished by fast digitisation and fascinating technological developments.

Technology is expected to continue to grow at a breakneck pace, especially in light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, which has sparked digitisation across industries, resulting in a surge in demand for digital platforms, software, hardware, and services. Let's look at some of the digital strategies that Singapore, Dubai, Malaysia, and Mauritius are planning to implement.

Singapore - A high tech hub

According to the IMB World Digital Competitiveness Ranking, Singapore was ranked first out of 140 nations in 2019, but despite falling from first place in 2021, Singapore is still considered as Asia's top performing economy. Singapore is a city-state that has always gone its own way, climbing the economic ladder while continuously reinventing itself to keep up with the times. Regardless of changes brought on by the pandemic, they continue to place a high priority on the effective development and implementation of digital technology in both the public and private sectors. 

As a result, the following strategies are being implemented in Singapore:

Develop technology leadership to drive a Smart Nation ambitions

Singapore’s Smart Nation strategy aims to build a digital economy, digital government and digital society, with every industry, business and government agency driving whole-of-nation digitalisation.

  • Singapore intends to increase its appeal as a testbed and launchpad for innovative technology deployments.
  • To meet the different levels of digital capacity across corporate segments, they will increase their technology translation strategy.
Reinforce Singapore’s position as a trusted digital innovation hub

As more businesses live and  move into the digital realm, digital trust will become increasingly valuable.

  • Singapore plans to use R&D to create trust capabilities and new trust technology in order to boost its position as a trusted digital innovation hub. As security, privacy, and trust new standards arise, technology-policy integration will become more important to steer technological advancements in this fast-paced environment.
Artificial Intelligence
  • Singapore will continue to strengthen its AI research and development capabilities.
  • They intend to invest in new sectors to fulfil their national imperatives. This includes foundational research in potentially game-changing areas like explainable AI, small data approaches, and federated learning, as well as technology translation laboratories to improve their speed to market.
  • They will provide the groundwork for artificial intelligence capabilities.
  • They will manage the research and innovation ecosystem to meet national and industry demands in areas including commerce and connectivity, the built environment, and professional services.
  • Efforts will focus on further strengthening the cybersecurity ecosystem, and raising capabilities across our research institutes, industry and government.
Trust Technologies
  • They will concentrate on creating innovative technological solutions that will ensure the security of digital transactions and establish Singapore as a trustworthy digital hub. Fair and explainable privacy-preserving technologies for obtaining data insights in a secure and transparent manner, as well as platforms to promote interoperability across the many blockchain technology solutions on the market, are among these.

Dubai - The Digital economy

Dubai has succeeded in developing an integrated digital government with a solid infrastructure, giving high-tech services, procedures, and digital systems to its habitants. This has aided the Emirate's growth as a global leader in smart services, with facilities that are easily accessible and efficient and seek, first and foremost, to ensure people's happiness and satisfaction, as well as to give them extraordinary living experiences. 

The emirate’s digital economy strategy action plan is structured on three pillars :

  • Enhancing the digital business environment

  • Attracting leading digital companies to Dubai 

  • Supporting the development of digital companies 

Smart Malaysia

From how communities interact to how businesses work and to how public services are delivered, the world is becoming increasingly digital. This prompted the development of MyDIGITAL, or the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (2021– 2030) by Malaysia. Malaysia's ultimate goal is to become a digitally-driven, high-income country and a regional leader in the digital economy. MyDIGITAL sets the tone for Malaysia's digital endeavours in the future.

The strategies that are being implemented by Malaysia are as follows:

Drive digital transformation in the public sector

They intend to hasten the public sector's transformation towards a digital government. This will be accomplished by utilising digital technology, data, and digital intelligence, as well as improving public employees' digital skill sets and improving the quality of online services.

Boost economic competitiveness through digitalisation

They intend to speed up the digital adoption, strengthen digital stewardship, and build new value sources and business models. Companies that invest in technology and build the digital economy will generate value and thrive as the economy shifts and digital ecosystems interact.

Build enabling digital infrastructure

They are planning to offer people with access to a wide range of high-quality digital infrastructure, allowing them to engage in the digital economy. Through a favourable digital environment provided by seamless and extensive digital connectivity, the government and enterprises would be able to work with ease and continue to develop.

Create an inclusive digital society

They are striving to reduce the digital divide by guaranteeing that everyone can participate in and benefit from the digital economy. One of the Blueprint's main goals is to create an inclusive digital society in which no one is left behind. In the quest to build a digitally responsible society, ethical behaviour in the use of digital technology will be prioritised.

Build trusted, secure and ethical digital environment

They plan on establishing a trustworthy, safe, and ethical digital environment. Businesses and society will be able to fully benefit from digital services while maintaining safety, data security, privacy, reliability, and ethical norms. To prevent attacks or breaches that can disrupt the whole function of the digital economy, the environment necessitates the development of a holistic ecosystem, including a legislative framework and cyber security capabilities.

Boost economic competitiveness through digitalisation

They aim to accelerate digital adoption, empower digital stewardship as well as shape new value pools and emerging business models. As the economy transforms and digital ecosystems integrate, businesses that embrace technology and build on the digital economy will generate value and thrive.

Build enabling digital infrastructure

Aims to narrow the digital divide in ensuring every individual participates and reaps the benefits of the digital economy. One of the key outcomes of the Blueprint is to achieve an inclusive digital society, with no one left behind in line. Ethical behaviour in using digital technology will be given priority in the effort to create a digitally responsible society.

Build trusted, secure and ethical digital environment

Aims to create a digital environment that is trusted, secure and ethical. This will enable businesses and society to fully reap the benefits of digital services without compromising safety, data security, privacy, reliability and ethical standards. The environment requires the development of a holistic ecosystem, such as a regulatory framework and cyber security capabilities to prevent threats or breaches that can disrupt the full function of the digital economy.

Mauritius - Implementing technological architectures

Since emerging technologies, data, and connectivity are the stepping stones to the intelligent information society, it is critical for Mauritius to foster and develop strategic targets in order to gain long-term competitive advantages that will keep the country at the forefront of the region and the world. Mauritius intends to become an inclusive high-income country by promoting and fostering an innovation culture and leveraging Emerging Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Robotics, Fintech, 3D Printing, Internet of Things, and Big Data to boost development in line with the Government's Vision 2030.

The strategies they are planning to implement are :

ICT Infrastructure and Broadcasting;
  • Provide satellite connectivity for Agalega and outer islands.
  • Promote adoption of emerging solutions like AI, IoT, Big Data and Cloud computing. 
  • Ensure widespread availability of Very High speed Internet (Fibre, 5G) and emergence of IoE (Internet of Everything)
E-Government and Business Facilitation;
  • Review and align procurement clauses to cater for new trends in technology and ICT deployment methods (Agile methodologies, Proof of Concept, Open source Software, Service contracts)
  • Review existing Legal and Regulatory framework to sustain various Digital Government initiatives
  • Carry out studies for utilisation of mobile ID
  • Exploit emerging technologies including Blockchain in Government services
  • Set up End-to-end digital services with paperless transactions and electronic payments
Cyber Security and Cyber Crime
  • Set up of a Cyber Threat Centre
  • Conduct cyber security threat assessment exercises
  • Set-up of a regional capacity building centre for cybercrime
Innovation and Emerging Technologies
  • Set up the Mauritius Artificial Intelligence Council (MAIC) to drive the take up of Artificial Intelligence and emerging technologies as vehicles of innovation
  • Launching of the first CubeSAT platform to acquire knowledge on satellite technology and how to efficiently collect and process land and ocean data 
  • Create awareness about Robotics and its applications

 Welcome to the new era where the coming decade will be distinguished by an increasing digitalisation and fascinating technological developments.

The circumstances that have led to the necessity for high-stakes strategic digital transformation will almost certainly improve. One can establish a plan focused on delivering long-term value regardless of which technologies support it if you build your efforts around the strategy rather than the technology. Technology is a fleeting commodity while Strategy is a long-lasting concept.

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