SINGAPORE (Feb 18): Singapore will continue to build on its position as a Global-Asia node of technology, innovation and enterprise.

“This will open up new opportunities for our firms and our people to ride on the wave of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” says Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in his Budget 2019 speech.

To achieve this, the government will invest in Singaporeans, invest in research and innovation by its universities and build global partnerships.

The government will continue to invest on R&D to support the push to make innovation pervasive. It will set aside $19 billion as part of its five-year Research, Innovation, and Enterprise 2020 plan.

To provide talented young Singaporeans opportunities to work abroad, current local and overseas internship programmes will be combined into a single Global Ready Talent Programme for students of Institutes of Higher Learnings.

“It will have enhanced funding support for our students interning overseas with Singapore firms,” says Heng.

The programme will also support high-growth Singapore firms to send Singaporeans with up to three years of working experience, for postings in key markets such as South-east Asia, China and India.

Lastly, to build global partnerships so that Singapore companies and people can forge new areas of collaboration with other innovation centres, the government will continue to bring the global innovation community to come together in Singapore to explore and collaborate.

This year, Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SWITCH) and the Singapore FinTech Festival will be held in the same week in mid-November.

This will “draw in even more entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, from around the world, to explore and collaborate in technology in this Fourth Industrial Revolution”, says Heng.