Thematic Report

Singapore: Disruption opportunities

by Jonathan Galligan / Jun 20, 2016

Future-proofing Singapore’s economy in an age of disruption


Singapore must innovate now or become increasingly irrelevant. Pressured by tech-based disruption and globalisation, the economy is languishing, its stock market is struggling and listed companies have suffered five years of dwindling returns. However, while old-economy businesses struggle, we are seeing early signs of transition to a new digital economy. CLSA looks at the country’s prospects and the opportunities that technological disruption brings.

Globalisation and disruption are pressuring Singapore’s old-economy industries, making them increasingly disintermediated. Many blue chips have been left flat-footed as disruption threatens their existence. Increasing connectivity and rapid technological development is changing the playing field and investors must be aware of the disruptive threats to listed companies.

However, no country in Asia is better positioned for change. A supportive government committing S$35bn through 2025, a solid business environment and a robust startup ecosystem that ranks as the strongest in Asia have attracted not just multinationals but many new digital-economy industries and startup companies.

While change is urgent, new-economy industries have already sprouted. Anchored by a robust ecosystem and strong government support, we have identified 10 growth sectors in the new Singapore economy that will ultimately lead the way to economic growth over the next decade:

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Biomedical sciences
  • Cleantech
  • Data Technolgies
  • e-Commerce
  • Edtech
  • Fintech
  • Lifestyle and Online gaming
  • P2P sharing economy
  • Transport