I had the opportunity to meet with Joachim NG, who works for iDA, a government agency responsible for the growth of the Singapore ICT industry. Joachim, who was very welcoming to me, is responsible for all business relations to companies, primarily tech in the United States, his title Country Director, US Office, where he’s station in Redwood Shores near Oracle. Think of him as a business ambassador from Singapore to the corporations (and startups) of US. I was surprised to find out that Milpitas based Creative Labs is actually a Singaporean company, cool!
My interest in Singapore started during a trip this summer, I found the small country to have a strong business focus, and growth in the social media space, I’ve kept in touch with many folks in Facebook, blogs, and even hosted friends. In fact, I’m having dinner with TDM‘s Steve Ming Yeow tonight at the Social Media Club at Yahoo.
I asked Jochim a few questions about the Web Industry in Singapore, and he provided me with his personal opinions that; “In the near future, we are going to see a lot of the current Web 2.0 features moving into mainstream enterprise IT products. Also, enterprise software companies are starting to use the building blocks and tools that Web2.0 developers are using today.”
Specifically, he share with me his insights on what the next 5 years could look like: “ I see three major areas to focus on in the future, 1) The internet will continue to evolve and Web 2.0 is driving much of that change, 2) Web2.0 applications will have to include Mobile interaction and 3) The need for personal information Security which is different from enterprise IT security, as mobile devices become dominant in many transactions.”
Singapore’s IDA assembles thought and practices leaders from CEOs of major tech companies to visit the country as well as practice leaders in the trenches, I expressed a desire to continue to try to connect cultures that embrace the web –both Silicon Valley and Singapore can leverage each other.
In our parting conversation, I asked Joachim the following: “What do you want to tell Silicon Valley? Many of them read my blog, what should they know about doing business in Singapore?” His response:
[“Asia is a fast growing market for the products that web companies produce. Asia is hungry for web technology. For example the largest growth segment of 18-25 year olds is in Asia. If Asia is not part of your plan it needs to be on your radar, the market demand is there”]
So let’s hear from the Silicon Valley web community (or outside) what are you doing to plan to expand to Asia? Are you offering your site in multiple languages? Is your UI ready for Asian preferences of design? I find this global internet usage data to be helpful, guess which region has the most internet users?