Asia-Pacific must use digitalisation for inclusive growth: Halimah, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Asia-Pacific must use digitalisation for inclusive growth: Halimah

This article is more than 12 months old

Leaps in digital technology have disrupted lives across the Asia-Pacific, but countries must harness digitalisation to achieve inclusive growth and raise their standard of living, President Halimah Yacob said yesterday.

Singapore is getting its people ready for the digital economy by equipping them with the skills and knowledge to use emerging technologies actively, meaningfully and safely, she added.

She was speaking at a gala dinner at the Istana to mark the 40th anniversary of the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT).

It has 38 full members, including Singapore's Infocomm Media Development Authority.

"While digitalisation has presented challenges and disruptions, it can also be used as an important force for spurring innovation, fostering new markets and driving inclusive growth to raise the standard of living for many societies around the world," said Madam Halimah.

She cited Singapore's planned roll-out of 5G network services by 2020 as an example of one emerging technology through which the Republic hopes to drive inclusive economic growth.

"We envision 5G to be an enabler to support the development of new innovative applications and services that will power our digital economy," she said.


She added: "It is not just about how fast our 5G network is or how soon we have it deployed, but also about how we use the 5G network to create value and deliver benefits to our businesses and people."

Madam Halimah said staying connected to the world is especially important to a small and open economy like Singapore, which is always looking for new ways to collaborate with other countries.

"This collaborative spirit is especially pertinent when new technologies are being adopted at a faster pace than before, and skills and regulatory frameworks have to keep up," she said. "We must all work together to make digital inclusion a priority."