eTG workshop on The Singapore Experience – Part 1

Notes from the World Bank eDevelopment Thematic Group workshop on “The Singapore Experience on 30 September in Washington DC.


Workshop participantsWelcome Remarks by Mr. Deepak Bhatia, Lead ICT Policy Specialist, GICT and Ms. Angela PNG, Deputy Director of International Organisation, International Enterprise Singapore

Knowledge sharing event – how Singapore became a leader in eGovernment

Singapore ranked first in eGovernment ranking in four consecutive years, global competitiveness index: 3rd

One factor for that – policy to utilize ICTs in national development

A lot of problems to overcome – e.g. technophobia

Today: ICT masterplan, holistic


Opening Remarks by Mr. Sun Vithespongse, Southeast Asia Executive Director and Mr. Mohsen Khalil, Director, Global ICT Department (TBC)


  • small country with no resources
  • therefore it has to be developed in ICTs to become efficient

World Bank group is the biggest sponsor in eGovernment – and has experiences large successes

World Bank should keep on the work, despite the financial crisis

Development in the industry

  • a lot of innovation is happening in the developing world
  • south-to-north and south-to-south developments

What can ICTs be useful for?

  • Powerful transformation forces turning around the way we do business

The integral structure of of governement and important private sectors and their cooperation is very important

Harnessing the power of ICTs is a government and behavioural issue – rather than a technological issue


Sharing on Government Transformation by IDA International

Topic: Singapore’s ICT Journey – The Past 30 years and the Next 5 years.

Speaker: Mr. YEONG Wee Tan, Deputy Director

ICT sector in Singapore

  • 40 bn US$
  • 140 000 IT professionals

Six national ICT plans

  • Computerisation
  • Communication
  • Connectivity
  • Convergence
  • Connectedness
  • Creation

It’s necessary to start a dialog on learned lessons – between Singapore and the other nations

Workshop participantsA lot of working with foreign agencies

IDA International – Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

  • partnering with other governments, sharing lessons of Singapore and advising them
  • not a vendor
  • living their lessons
  • helping to integrate ICTs

Sharing lessons on different levels

  • Infrastructure
  • Human capacity – The countries need to have sustainable human capital to carry on with their policies
  • Industry and Government
  • Governance – which legal framework is necessary
  • Outcomes – What are the aims?

Within 15 minutes you can register a Singaporian company around the world

GrBiz – Government to Business open platform

We want to get people used to make everything “e”

  • There are 200 government services available on a handheld in Singapore
  • Also as a tourist you get all these services available
  • A lot of learning devices for schools – “Future schools in Singapore” – to be on the forefront of development
  • Also health care projects

Government must evolve to be an open ecosystem

Together with agencies like the World Bank we can teach also other countries how to integrate ICTs in their services and transform their operations

eTransformation can create a better world through ICT

Q & A:

Question about public trust – everything is digital now, do people trust in the system?

  • Everybody has one number – took quite a while to harmonize that
  • In the beginning of the journey there were problems, but in the mean time people have accepted it
  • There is a lot of public consultation

Infrastructure is important but education too – how to talk to ministries trying to prioritize?

Cross agency information sharing?

  • There always political trouble  – but the important point is communicate, communicate, communicate the overall goal to everbody
  • It’s important to bring the stakeholders together and convince them

What motivates Singapore for international coperation? Typical cooperation between the agency and another country?

  • One strategic plan in the Singapore ICT plan is internationalization
  • It’s also an export industry, not everything for free – but not a typical consultor, we are there to help people get on the IT journey
  • It’s important for us to give back to the world
  • We act like a trusted adviser to the government

Do you have an administrative reform plans for the country and how is it linked to the ICT plan?

  • Definitely, everything is balanced between administrative reforms, governments processes, … to have everybody on the same page, it’s still ongoing


It’s very encouraging to see this international exchange, Singapore is currently working on a P2P portal for government transformation

Sometimes you need to break established ways of work and act outside the framework


Workshop participantsSharing on Government Transformation by novaCITYNETS Pte Ltd

Topic: e-Transformation to a First World City

Speaker: Ms. Joyce WONG, EVP

Singapore in the 1960 had big problems – a developing country

  • GDP per capita: 427$

Several measures to overcome the situation

  • Public housing
  • Attracting foreign investment – to create jobs

Making Singapore a good place for investment

  • Infrastructure improvement – water, electricity, roads, …
  • Well thought our master plan
  • Constant reform
  • Concept plan = blueprint
  • Master plan = vision
  • Construction = concrete measures
  • Twenty years plan

A lot of construction activities

Many issues faced when dealing with construction permits from different agencies

Introduction of COREnet

  • streamline and reengineer the processes in the construction industry
  • e-submission system launched in 2001
  • business re-engineering, project design, training, industry promotion, …
  • Interface for businesses to interact with the government
  • Variety of agencies are hidden behind the online portal – single point of access
  • big success story, companies make use of it, big increase in efficiency

In 2009

  • 16 participating agencies
  • 700 application forms (2001) to 231
  • 30% improvement in turnaround time

Information on eTransformation in Sri Lanka

  • All building blocks for a strong eGovernment solution were not in place – when NCS came to rescue
  • Trying to replicate the experience of Singapore – but adapt it to the situation in Sri Lanka

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eTG workshop on The Singapore Experience – Part 1
was published on 30.09.2009 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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