Google now employs some 1,000 staff in Singapore, where it has moved to a new office building and looks to support an expanding team.
Serving as the company's Asia-Pacific headquarters, the local office was first established in 2007 with a team of 24 and since grown to 1,000, supporting the region's consumers and enterprise customers, said Caesar Sengupta, Google's vice president of product management.
The new premise, located at Mapletree Business City II, was home to "a growing engineering team" and employees in sales, marketing, operations, and partnerships, amongst others, Sengupta said.
Speaking at the opening, Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran said the nation, amid higher digitalisation of cross-border trade, must aim to establish leadership in digital sectors including software, devices, and infrastructure to remain "a key economic node in the digital economy". He said digitisation was forecast to generate US$2 trillion in additional output by 2020, and would help businesses including startups and SMBs partake in the global economy with greater speed and scale.
"Singapore aims to become the digital capital of Asia and a smart nation, with a comprehensive ecosystem of technology and media providers," Iswaran said, adding that more than 200 of the world's leading digital companies today had made Singapore their headquarters as well as established management and innovation teams here. In addition, more than 1,000 technology startups currently operated in the country, spanning various sectors including fintech, advertising technology, and analytics, the minister said.
Alongside the launch of its new office, Google also introduced its Code in the Community initiative here Thursday, with the aim to offer the computer science and computational course to 3,000 young Singaporeans.
According to Sengupta, it had partnered four local self-help ethnic groups including Singapore Indian Development Association and The Eurasian Association, and would be hosting weekend classes for kids aged 8 and 15. Starting in early-2017, the programme would run for three years.
"We will also be engaging with the community through a series of tech talks, meet-ups, and interview workshops that we we hope will give Singaporeans aspiring to pursue a career in tech a headstart," he said.
Google currently operates two data centres in Singapore, which also will be one of three new cloud regions in Asia to be added in the next year, including Mumbai and Sydney. It launched its Tokyo cloud platform earlier this week and also runs a cloud region in Taiwan.