Singapore, a key hub for South East Asia region for the past tens of years or so in which the city state has long been known for, most known as the region’s best and if not one of Asia’s most prominent financial hub, maritime hub, oil & gas petrochemical and most recently, it is developing an ecosystem in order to be the Silicon Valley of South East Asia, developing both venture capitals (VCs) and incubators locally and in which, had recently expanded to many cities too around the region, most notably in Indonesia recently.

The Government announced earlier in the year, link here, that it is setting up a government body, which ultimately known as Infrastructure Asia, in order to connect infrastructure funds to infrastructure projects regionally through Singapore expertise, ideas, know-how and connections between various nations and funds pool. The new body, jointly set up by Enterprise Singapore and Monetary Authority of Singapore, will provide a platform for information exchange and facilitate infrastructure investments and financing.

Singapore Minister Heng Swee Kiat said that: “We hope this will strengthen the linkages among the innovation ecosystems in the region, and spark new collaborations and solutions”. He further said that this is one of several moves in Budget 2018 to encourage firms to forge partnerships at home and abroad, stressing the importance of cooperation for Singapore’s economic development.

Asia’s need for infrastructure is more urgent than ever, as economies expand rapidly and the population of urban residents rises by a staggering 1.4 billion in the next two decades. This means more roads, more homes and more physical facilities.

There are plenty of projects in the pipeline. China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) – a landmark project that aims to connect over 4.4 billion people across Asia, Europe and Africa – is the region’s largest and most ambitious initiative. Governments and firms are collaborating on urban solutions and transport infrastructure projects as they seek to boost trade flows and connectivity. Within Southeast Asia, upcoming developments include the high-speed rail between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, Indonesia’s projected 1,060km of roads to be built within President Joko Widodo’s five-year term, and the 14 railway projects planned in Thailand by 2022.

With investment in infrastructure both a priority and necessity for Asian governments, there are numerous opportunities for businesses and as quoted from the Ministry, it urged businesses to tap Singapore expertise in order to get access, talents, know-how and connections to development funds, pooled in Singapore. Over the next 15 years, an estimated US$26 trillion may be spent on infrastructure projects in Asia, Senior Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah said in her ministry’s Committee of Supply debate earlier back in March 2018.

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