Countries interested in tapping on Singapore's e-Government expertise can now turn to IDA International (http://www.idainternational.sg/), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). The newly-formed subsidiary will enable Singapore to provide a focused and holistic approach in working with foreign governments on public service infocomm initiatives.
At the same time, the company hopes to translate these collaborations into business opportunities for local infocomm players, especially those who have been at the forefront of developing solutions for Singapore's e-Government services.
Speaking at the official launch of IDA International on 17 February 2009, Dr Lee Boon Yang, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, noted that Singapore is recognised worldwide as a leader in the use of infocomm to deliver better services to the public and businesses. He cited TradeNet and its successor (TradeXchange), e-filing for income tax returns and BizFile for online registration of new businesses as examples of e-Govenrment services that have had a major impact and brought huge benefits to Singaporeans and the business community.
"We have built up a strong track record of successfully implementing our National Infocomm and e-Government programmes. As a result, we have been consistently ranked among the top nations in the world for e-Government," he said. In 2007, for instance, SIngapore ranked first and second respectively in Accenture and Brown University's e-Government studies.
According to Dr Lee, many countries see Singapore as a good partner in their own infocomm plans and hope to shorten their learning curve by working with Singapore to achieve their own infocomm goals.
|Mr Seah: We have been through the journey, and we have what it takes to get things done.
Mr Seah Chin Siong, Chief Executive Officer of IDA International, believes his company is well-positioned to address these requirements by delivering a more holistic and integrated approach to collaborating with foreign governments. At the same time, this will help create a bigger international footprint for the Singapore infocomm industry.
Already, local infocomm companies such as ST Electronics, NCS, Ecquaria, Infowave, Eucharist, SQLView, Netrust and Elixir have expressed interest in partnering IDA International to venture into the overseas markets.
IDA International is currently in discussion with several governments with whom Singapore has already established government-to-government infocomm collaborations. These include Brunei in Southeast Asia; Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain in the Middle East; South Africa; as well as Brazil and Trinidad & Tobago in the Americas. Some of the services offered by IDA International include national infocomm planning and e-Government consultancy.
The focus for IDA International would be to apply Singapore's public sector expertise to the context of these countries, said Mr Seah. He believes that this can be done, and that the Singapore model – with its success in combining public and private expertise - presents a compelling value proposition. "We have been through the journey, and we have what it takes to get things done," he said.