S'pore infocomm sector posts US$14.3b in sales

Singapore's info-communications industry (excluding electronics and semiconductor manufacturing) generated revenues of S$26 billion (US$14.3 billion) last year, compared with S$23.2 billion in 1999.

SINGAPORE--Singapore's info-communications industry (excluding electronics and semiconductor manufacturing) generated revenues of S$26 billion (US$14.3 billion) last year, compared with S$23.2 billion in 1999.

According to the Info-communications Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the industry also grew by 30 percent last year, over the S$20 billion it managed in 1998.

These figures were revealed in the Second Infocomm Industry Survey (1999-2000), which was commissioned by the IDA. In a statement yesterday, it said the survey was conducted from January to March this year with the objective of "sizing the infocomm industry, its segments and its potential growth areas".

About 600 people were surveyed, including chief executive officers and chief financial officers of infocomm companies which are direct suppliers in developing and providing infocomm products and services, the IDA added in the statement.

The respondent provided estimated growth figures for their respective business segments and these figures were totaled up and then averaged.

It was noted that the infocomm sector accounted for about 7 percent of the island's gross domestic product last year.

"Notwithstanding the current weak business climate, I am confident about the long term growth prospects of the (Singapore infocomm) industry," IDA chief executive Yong Ying-I said in the statement. "We are on track to achieving our targeted S$40 billion infocomm revenues by 2005," she added.

The industry saw export and domestic revenues of S$12.6 billion and S$13.4 billion respectively last year. Export revenues refer to sales out of Singapore, and domestic revenues means sales to end users in Singapore, excluding sales to distributors.

In terms of business segments, hardware retail sales accounted for 57 percent of export revenues in 2000. Hardware retail includes personal computers and laptops, personal digital assistants and servers and workstations. Telecommunications came in second with 21 percent and IT services and software also contributed 21 percent. IT and software include application service provider, training and education and consulting and implementation services.

The telecommunications sector also led in domestic revenues, with 48 percent. Telecommunication services include cable, basic fixed line, mobile and wireless services. This was followed by IT services and software at 29 percent and hardware retail chalked up 20 percent.

The survey showed that the top five growth areas were e-business and e-commerce, Web design and development, IT outsourcing, mobile and wireless communications and customer relationship management.