At a time when we are all living more online and relying on digital innovation to support us in our everyday lives, the UK tech industry is focusing its attention on overseas digital export opportunities.
Why should tech companies trade with Singapore?
The UK exported £8.8bn of goods and services to Singapore in 2019, a clear indicator of the country’s strong interest in UK products.
Singapore is also a lucrative regional hub due to its relationships with neighbouring Asian-Pacific countries. Doing business with Singapore is relatively easy, due to its stable economic position, transparency and adherence to the rule of law.
A Tech Nation report published in September 2020 found that Singapore is one of the fastest rising global opportunities for UK digital trade, climbing 5 places in the rankings between 2019 and 2020.
This surge of overseas digital and tech sales is partly due to the UK-Singapore Innovation and Research Partnership signed in 2014. This was established to leverage the two countries’ investment in research and innovation with a goal of driving forward economic growth and social impact.
2014 also saw Singapore announce its Smart Nation initiative, which has an aim of encouraging the use of digital innovation to benefit society.
According to the Smart Nation and Digital Government office, the aim of the initiative is to “harness technology to address national challenges and drive transformation in key areas including “health, education, transport, urban solutions and finance.”
Opportunities for health tech companies
In terms of the health tech sector, the UK is perfectly positioned to pitch its products to Singapore. In the last few years, investment in UK health tech has been the highest in Europe and increased by 25% from 2015-2020.
Health tech is also the second most profitable tech sector in the UK, so customers in Singapore looking for health tech solutions will be interested in mutually beneficially partnerships due to the significant skill and solutions that can be offered. The increasing need in the country for health tech products comes partially from the fact that Singapore has a high number of elderly citizens, (expected to reach 900,000 by 2030).
Singapore’s healthcare system is however ranked as the 6th most developed in the world, and hospitals regularly research, test and introduce new medical technologies. This gives UK tech companies an opportunity to work with hospitals to introduce their products into the market.
Increasing urbanisation and a growing population means Singapore has a goal to make use of its limited space in the smartest, most efficient way possible.
With transport services already in the top ten exports from the UK to Singapore, this presents an opportunity for UK tech companies. Businesses in the UK that have created more sustainable alternatives to transportation such as self-driving vehicles, can introduce their products to a like-minded society.
The UK EdTech sector is set to reach £3.4bn by 2021, according to The Telegraph. This growth has been bolstered by emerging technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality and AI.
91% of Singaporeans have a smart-phone and internet penetration is significantly above the global average at 84%. This offers a pathway for EdTech companies in the UK to present personalised learning solutions to potential buyers.
Jack Churchill, Founder and CEO of Scanning Pens and South West Export Champion has recently expanded to Singapore with his company’s reader pens designed to support dyslexic pupils. Commenting on the value of exporting for tech companies he said:
“Exporting is more important than ever during this pandemic. If you have an export presence in other countries, you are effectively balancing your sales as a business. More than 50% of Scanning Pens’ sales comes from overseas markets.
“With the recent opening of a warehouse in Singapore, we’re already starting to connect our reader pens with the education community.”
With the deadline for submissions to the Tech 4 Good programme just a week away, why not apply and see where a new export journey could take your business?