Forging the Asia Digital Economy with Expansion in Singapore

Creating value for the people, the financial market and the environment

Yee May Leong
Forging the Asia Digital Economy with Expansion in Singapore

Singapore is one of the most developed markets in the Asia-Pacific region and has evolved to become a digital and innovation-focused hub over the past decade. This coupled with the world-class infrastructure, friendly and open immigration policies, as well as the government investment in Singapore’s digital economy has positioned the city-state to become the digital capital of the Asia-Pacific region.

The success of Singapore’s digital society hinges on the adoption and development of innovative technologies, such as 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), robotics, the internet of things (IoT) and cybersecurity. Supporting data transmissions between distributed devices and cloud environments is only possible when underpinned by the right foundational digital infrastructure. Supporting these innovative technologies further increases the demand for interconnection—the direct and private traffic exchange between key business partners.  As reflected in the Global Interconnection Index Volume 4 (GXI Vol. 4), a market study recently published by Equinix, Singapore’s interconnection bandwidth will grow at a faster compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 51% in the region between 2019 and 2023.

Singapore’s Smart Nation initiatives are driving nationwide adoption of digitalization, FinTech hub acceleration and sustainability. All of these will lead to greater demand for building direct and secure connections in the future.

To support the nation’s digital journey, we will further expand our footprint in the Lion City with our fifth International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center in Singapore, to be named SG5. With an initial investment of US$144 million for the first phase, SG5 is scheduled to open in H1 2021. This new facility, together with our current four IBX data centers, will help power Singapore’s digital journey to create value for people, the economy and the environment.

Singapore’s Smart Nation initiatives are driving nationwide adoption of digitalization, FinTech hub acceleration and sustainability. All of these will lead to greater demand for building direct and secure connections in the future. Yee May Leong

Why Choose Singapore Data Centers?

Scheduled to open in H1 2021, SG5, the purpose-built facility will meet growing demand for cloud connectivity for enterprises as they transform digitally.

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Modern web network and internet telecommunication technology, big data storage and cloud computing computer service business concept: server room interior in datacenter in blue light

Accelerating nationwide adoption of digitalization

One of the key criteria of Singapore’s Smart Nation strategy is to drive nationwide digitalization. As a case in point, Singapore just launched its SingPass Face Verification service, which enables citizens to authenticate their identities through facial recognition technology for transactions with government agencies and other institutions like banks and hospitals.[1]

In addition, Singapore also launched close to 50 “SG digital community hubs” across the nation in August of this year. Digital Ambassadors will be stationed at each hub to provide one-to-one assistance on digital upskilling and knowledge for the community.[2] With nationwide digitalization on the way, the city will require real-time analytics and a reliable digital infrastructure to store, process and analyze data at the edge. With Platform Equinix®, digital leaders can locate adjacent to public clouds and networks to create best-of-breed hybrid multicloud architectures and deploy in close proximity to customers, geographies and locations that matter most to achieve low-latency performance.

Empowering financial activities with a digital marketplace

Singapore has also doubled down its effort to become a hub for business-to-business fintech companies seeking to expand globally. According to Singapore Labor Chief Ng Chee Meng, who spoke at the 2020 Digital Banking Symposium in Singapore, “COVID-19, in its ironic way, has forced companies, whether big or small, to embrace technology and the possibilities of digitalization to bring companies to new markets.”

It is against this mindset that technology will aid in bringing our economy back on track, that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced a SG$125 million support package for the financial and FinTech sectors to deal with the immediate challenges of COVID-19.[3] The MAS has also launched a SG$6 million MAS-SFA-AMTD FinTech Solidarity Grant to help Singapore-based FinTech companies sustain their operations.[4]

The success of FinTechs will depend on a well-regulated and efficient operating environment. It also means a digitally enabled, optimized and robust marketplace is required. At Equinix, customers can enjoy secure, direct access to a strong, interconnected ecosystem. We offer the richest and most mature financial ecosystem, connecting exchanges, sell-side and buy-side firms, and market data and service providers to the opportunities offered by global financial markets. SG5 will be directly connected to the four existing Equinix IBX data centers in Singapore via low-latency dark fiber links, allowing customers to securely interconnect with more than 705 companies in the market. This will ensure customers can move fast and pivot quickly when markets change.

A sustainable digital economy

Singapore’s aspiration of driving a digital economy has not meant compromising on its goal to become a sustainable economy. On top of the SS 564 green data center standard, Singapore has also taken further steps in securing greener energy sources, and is aiming to harness 1.5 gigawatt-peak (GWp) of solar energy by 2025, almost four times the current solar usage of 390 megawatt-peak (MWp).[5]

Aligning with Singapore’s goal of decarbonization, SG5 will adopt a number of green features for better use of energy. These include motion-activated LED lights, automated control and regulation of motors, hot aisle containment, and ceiling plenum infrastructure. It is also certified to meet rigorous environmental and energy management standards. As the world’s leading digital infrastructure provider, Equinix is committed to a long-term goal of using 100% clean and renewable energy for our operations, to reduce our carbon footprint across our global presence.

Our continued investment and expansion in Singapore is to create value and cater to the needs of the people, the capital and the environment through technology. It’s our testament of support for the city-state’s goal of becoming a smarter and greener nation, by helping Singapore’s transformation journey toward a more digital-ready, if not fully digital, economy.

[1]https://www.bbc.com/news/business-54266602

[2]https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/sg-digital-community-hubs-launch-seniors-iswaran-12909432

[3]https://www.zdnet.com/article/singapore-dangles-88m-package-to-help-fintech-fsi-firms-drive-digital-efforts/

[4]https://www.mas.gov.sg/news/media-releases/2020/new-grant-scheme-to-support-singapore-fintech-firms

[5]https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/environment/solar-panels-on-rooftops-or-floating-on-water-may-be-a-common-sight-soon