The COVID-19 crisis has brought major disruptions to Singapore, as the country depends on global trade and supply chains. The country’s inability to move goods freely within and across borders due to lockdowns worldwide has raised significant challenges.
This article focuses on Singapore’s situation post pandemic and the sectors that are thriving even after the pandemic. Let’s check it out!
Singapore’s Situation After Pandemic
The impact of the pandemic on the Singapore economy has been significant too. There are some sectors that have been the most severely affected are those that rely on international travel, including air transport, accommodation, and other tourism-related sectors.
Retail and food services have also been badly affected by the reduction in domestic consumption amidst stricter safe distancing measures. At the same time, the manufacturing and wholesale trade sectors have been impacted by the fall in external demand and supply chain disruptions.
Meanwhile, domestically-oriented sectors like construction and real estate have been affected by the negative downturn in the domestic economy.
However, there are also bright spots in the economy, with the rise in demand for some sectors that are related to online sales and services.
The presence of e-commerce, including those that provide food and grocery deliveries have expected to provide opportunities for the country’s economic growth. The regulations of safe distancing have shifted people’s habits from shopping at conventional stores to online shopping.
Not only that, there are more businesses that are also going online to reach out to their customers, and they are adopting digital solutions to improve their processes, such as e-payment and e-invoicing.
The Promising Sector Post Pandemic in Singapore
In this country, fast-growing start-ups in the food, retail, and technology industries have been working to respond to the changing environment. In addition, based on Colliers, the technology sector is likely to continue to plume as it is expected to be the fastest-growing sector over the next three years based on earnings growth.
In addition, the low-touch economy will lead to a boom in e-commerce, which is apparent. More retailers, restaurants and even wet markets are going online, a trend that will increase with the launch of the e-commerce booster package last month by Enterprise Singapore, in which covers 90% of the set-up costs of selling online for retailers new to e-commerce.
For instance, a Singaporean agriculture technology start-up called Sustenir was working to make food supplies more reliable during the pandemic. Sustenir itself is a vertical urban farm, which enables non-native produce to grow in controlled and indoor environments.
Back when the coronavirus emerged at the start of 2020, agriculture was one of the industries’ first hit. Supermarket shelves were empty as people feared food shortages due to border closures and supply disruptions.
Thus, Sustenir has the opportunities to provide what the Singaporeans need, and there is also a big focus on how to get productivity up. Less than 10% of Singapore’s nutritional needs are produced from within the land-scarce country, and Singapore’s government hopes to raise that figure to 30% by 2030 through better land use and technology. The CEO of Sustenir, Ben Swan is optimistic that the company can be a leading food innovator in the future.
Just as the outbreak changed agriculture demands, it also shifted shopping habits. Nationwide lockdowns and the economic blow made customers and retailers more conscious of their spending. Henry Chan, the CEO of the cashback platform called ShopBack has been focusing on that matter for several years.
The Singaporean start-up launched in 2014 which gives users a percentage of cashback on every purchase made through its app, and it has grown steadily and given $115 million back to more than 20 million users in Asia Pacific. However, when the pandemic hit, the business moved quickly to offer new savings.
According to Henry Chan, the pandemic has seen consumers’ shopping habits shift to essential needs, such as groceries and followed by fitness products and domestic travel. Meanwhile, it prompted more retailers to list themselves on the platform to compensate for lost physical sales.
From April to June 2020, ShopBack earned a commission from its affiliate merchants every time a sale is made. Shopback also added 500 new retailers and expanded its list of 4.000 brands including Amazon, Taobao, and Expedia.
Eventually, the rise of e-commerce could be permanent as people’s shopping habits change and more retailers get online. Singapore is already well served in e-commerce, with established players like Amazon, Qoo10, Lazada, Shopee and Carousell, as well as niche, industry-specific players, such as Sephora, FairPrice and Gymsportz.
The e-commerce boom would support the growth of related services, such as web design, digital marketing and content management.
Other than technology sectors, Singapore’s biotechnology sector also shows promise. Last year, it launched a new consortium called the Target Translation Consortium, to coordinate early-stage drug discovery efforts across government agencies, healthcare institutions and universities.
What Should They Do Next?
Many other industries that also hold out the promise in the post-pandemic economy in which Singapore could develop capabilities, while some companies are already operating, such as urban farming and green energy technologies to hygienic packaging, e-sports and electronic gaming.
However, companies will need to take advantage of new opportunities. They would also need to continue investing in Research and Development (R&D) and innovation through the crisis, instead of focusing on cost-cutting.
Research by management consultants shows that those to do so perform better than their competitors after a crisis. Individuals will also need to reskill for a more digital, automated, and competitive world.
Apart from the disruptions that COVID-19 has created, there are still some opportunities that the companies need to take, such as spot the problem early, then adapt to the new things, then execute it well. In the end, you need to sustain through the pandemic by finding ways to transform your business and improve it.
In conclusion, the COVID-19 crisis may be here for a longer time, but as long as you can adapt the situation and implement it to your business, it will be going well eventually. This is what these promising sectors do, they adapt fast and execute well. Thus, they still survive even after the pandemic.