Report: Singapore E-Commerce Doubles to $51.1B

E-commerce revenues in Singapore have more than doubled, growing from US$22.03 billion in 1999 to $51.1 billion in 2000, according to a report released Wednesday by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and Department of Statistics.

“The Survey on E-Commerce 2000” found that 98.7 percent of the 9,000 companies surveyed had Internet access, with commonly used applications being online sales and purchases and government services.

“The sharp increase in e-commerce activities is encouraging and strongly indicative of the digital transformation occurring in the Singapore industry,” said Dr. Kaizad Heerjee, IDA assistant chief executive of online development.

“However, we have a long journey ahead, and the survey results suggest that we are in the right direction towards e-powering our businesses and consumers to build Singapore as a trusted hub in Asia,” Heerjee added.

Total e-commerce revenues in the country are expected to reach $61.27 billion in 2001, according to the IDA.

B2B Leads Charge

The majority of Singapore’s e-commerce revenues come from business-to-business (B2B) sales, the IDA said. The study found that B2B e-commerce grew from $21.93 billion in 1999 to $50.44 billion in 2000. This year’s B2B e-commerce revenues are forecast to reach $59.76 billion.

The data generated by the IDA, however, might raise some eyebrows at IDC, the U.S.-based research firm. Last month, IDC reported that B2B e-commerce in the entire Asia-Pacific region was $12.8 billion in 2000. IDC predicted that B2B in the Asia Pacific area would total approximately US$61 billion in direct and indirect materials by the end of 2002.

New and Improved

Leading the B2B charge in Singapore, according to the IDA, was the finance and accounting sector, which accounted for $28.51 billion, or 56 percent, of all B2B e-commerce.

The sector with the highest growth rate, 265 percent, was the transport, storage and communication sector. Other major growth sectors for the year were the wholesale/retail and manufacturing sectors.

About 24 percent of the Singapore companies currently engaged in e-commerce started their e-commerce activities in 2000. According to the IDA, this means that the number of companies that started e-commerce activities grew by about 30 percent last year.

There is also an increasing demand for e-commerce infrastructure services, which, the IDA said, “implies that companies see the importance of developing and enhancing their Internet capabilities.”

Retail, Too

Corporate buyers are not the only ones embracing the Web in Singapore. Business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce spending in the country grew from $109.91 million in 1999 to $641.45 million in 2000, the study found.

By the end of 2001, the IDA is predicting B2C e-commerce revenues to grow to $1.51 billion.

“Strong consumer spending online shows that Singaporeans are ready to embrace the e-lifestyle,” the IDA said.

Driving B2C online spending were the finance/banking, real estate/business, manufacturing, and wholesale/retail sectors.

Cross Country

Singapore B2B companies are not only selling to their countrymen, they are increasingly using the Internet to reach regional neighbors, including those in Indonesia, Taiwan, China, South Korea and Japan.

Companies in Singapore are also purchasing online from companies in the United States, Malaysia and Japan.

On the B2C side, the IDA reports that a “large proportion” of e-sales are made to consumers in Malaysia, Thailand, the U.S. and Japan.

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