Singapore is at the center of Global AI Investment, greater US corporate investment

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    As we are all very much aware, there has been an explosive acceleration of investment into Artificial Intelligence (AI), thrusting it into the mainstream of the technology world. Whilst a lot of the attention is naturally focused on the major players in Silicon Valley, Asia-Pacific could well be considered another key nexus of the global incentive to expand AI potential. 

    A recent survey conducted by IDC revealed that 70% of respondents in the APAC region were either actively investing in generative AI or exploring its potential. As businesses in APAC explore the rise in this critical technology, the impact it is having on the business environment is notable. A further survey by IDC forecasts that by 2026, approximately 65% of regional organizations will have integrated AI across business technology categories.

    Geographical benefit

    Singapore has long been recognized for its robust economy, business-friendly policies, and forward-thinking approach to technology. In recent times, it has solidified its reputation as a beacon of stability and innovation in the global tech industry. This can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, its geographical location serves as a gateway to the fast-growing markets of Southeast Asia, making it an attractive destination for multinational companies looking to expand their presence in the region. Another key factor contributing to Singapore’s prominence on the tech stage is its commitment to attracting top talent from around the world. There is a vibrant ecosystem of startups, MNCs, research institutions, and government agencies, all working together to drive technology advancements across industries.

    AI presence

    The recent surge in Artificial Intelligence (AI) adoption is further propelling Singapore’s tech revolution. Singapore’s government has been proactive in promoting AI initiatives through investment incentives, research grants, and the development of AI-focused talent and infrastructure. It was announced in Singapore’s 2024 National Budget that the country aims to invest more than SG$1 billion (over US$743 million) into AI over the next 5 years. The government’s goal for this investment is to help Singapore-based businesses capitalize on the growing demand for AI technology, and to incentivize businesses to adopt AI solutions, which will bolster strategic partnerships in addition to helping drive foreign investments.  

    Trade relationships

    Singapore’s strategic partnerships and trade relationships, particularly with the United States, contribute to its attractiveness as an investment destination. According to ASEAN Briefing, Singapore offers a range of opportunities for US investors across various sectors, including tech, finance, and healthcare.

    In 2020, bilateral trade between the two was valued at US$57.8 billion. Over 4,500 US companies, including Fortune 100s such as Alphabet (Google), Apple, Microsoft, Pfizer and Procter & Gamble, operate in Singapore, making the US the largest foreign investor in Singapore, with around US$270 billion in direct investments.

    The country has a strong free trade agreement network, with some of the largest in the ASEAN-China, ASEAN-India, and ASEAN-Hong Kong trade blocs, providing businesses in Singapore with access to free / reduced import tariffs and preferential markets.

    With strong intellectual property protection, transparent regulatory framework, and a skilled workforce, Singapore remains posed as a prime location for US companies to expand into the Asia-Pacific region.

    If you are interested in learning about how BMES could support your growth plans in Singapore or the APAC region, please contact Sunita Nair, APAC Vice-President (sunita@bmes.com)

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