AWS ASEAN Summit in Singapore on May 7, 2024
Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information, Tan Kiat How (middle) pictured with AWS executives and partners of AWS AI Spring: (from left) Jeff Johnson, Regional Managing Director, UK and Ireland, AWS; Low Khah Gek, CEO, ITE; Elsie Tan, Worldwide Public Sector, Country Manager, Singapore, AWS; Priscilla Chong, Country Manager, Singapore, AWS; Leong De Yao, ACE, IMDA; Andy Ta, Director, Data Analytics & AI (DNA) & Chief Data Officer, Synapxe

SINGAPORE—At the 10th AWS ASEAN Summit in Singapore today, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced plans to invest an additional S$12 billion into its existing cloud infrastructure in Singapore from 2024 to 2028 to meet growing customer demand for cloud technology and services in the country. AWS has invested S$11.5 billion in the AWS Asia Pacific (Singapore) Region through 2023 and with the new investment, AWS’s total planned investment into its existing cloud infrastructure is set to double to more than S$23 billion by 2028. Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information, Mr Tan Kiat How, delivered a keynote speech as Guest of Honour on the Singapore Government's commitment to strengthen partnerships with organisations like AWS to ride the next wave of digitalisation, and take the Digital Economy from 1.0 to 2.0.

According to a new AWS Economic Impact Study (EIS), this new planned investment in addition to previous investment commitments is estimated to contribute S$23.7 billion to Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2028, and support an estimated average of 12,300 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs in local Singapore businesses each year. These positions, including construction, facility maintenance, engineering, telecommunications, and other jobs within the country’s broader economy, are part of the AWS data centre supply chain in Singapore.

Thousands of active Singapore customers, such as Grab, Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore, Singlife, and Synapxe, use the AWS Asia Pacific (Singapore) Region to digitally transform.

“AWS has been deeply committed to helping Singapore grow its economy, workforce, and digital prowess with cloud and advanced technologies since it launched its first Asia Pacific infrastructure Region here over a decade ago,” said Priscilla Chong, Country Manager, Singapore, AWS. “AWS is doubling down on its cloud infrastructure investments in Singapore from 2024 to 2028 to support customer demand, and help reinforce Singapore’s status as an attractive regional innovation launchpad, and a global leader in digital competitiveness. This investment will create a ripple effect across Singapore by increasing economic growth and cloud adoption. It also brings additional contributions to the local economy by AWS, such as upskilling the local digital workforce, developing renewable energy projects, and creating a positive impact in the communities where AWS operates.”

AWS AI Spring Singapore - Contributing to Singapore’s National AI Strategy 2.0

Generative AI is poised to be the most transformational technology of our time. With over 25 years of experience in AI, AWS is working with Singapore public organisations to develop innovative, industry-first solutions powered by AI and generative AI, including AI Singapore’s SEA-LION, GovTech Singapore’s, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore’s Maritime AI-ML Digital Hub, National Library Board’s StoryGen, and Synapxe’s national healthcare data and AI application.

AWS will support Singapore’s Smart Nation and National AI Strategy 2.0 (NAIS 2.0) goals with a new flagship AI programme, AWS AI Spring for Singapore. This is a multifaceted collaboration with the Singapore Government, public sector organisations, and enterprises to help accelerate the adoption of AI and generative AI in Singapore.

There are six strategic pillars in this comprehensive AI programme, which is aligned with Singapore’s S$1 billion investment in NAIS 2.0 to further catalyse AI activities, and aims to drive benefits to AWS’s customers, partners, and community: AI Spring Public Sector to collaborate on driving AI initiatives within the Singapore Government and government agencies to benefit industries and citizens; AI Spring Workforce, a series of AI skilling and professional certification programmes; AI Spring Enterprise to drive AI adoption in local enterprises; AI Spring Startups to nurture core AI startups in Singapore; AI Spring Communities to contribute to community development with AI; and AI Spring Research and Development (R&D) to drive R&D for and with AI.

“With AWS AI Spring, we are eager to embark on this collaborative AI journey with the Government and customers to unlock the potential of AI, and accelerate Singapore’s Smart Nation vision and goal to become a beacon in the international AI field,” said Elsie Tan, Country Manager, Worldwide Public Sector, Singapore, AWS. “By leveraging AWS’s broadest and deepest set of artificial intelligence and machine learning services, cloud infrastructure, and network, AWS will empower local organisations and students with technology and skills to tackle unique challenges, unlock new opportunities, delight customers, and scale in a secure, resilient, and sustainable manner.”

Uplifting Public Sector, Enterprises, and Talent in Singapore

Under AI Spring Public Sector, AWS will work closely with Singapore Government agencies to enable and accelerate AI adoption within the public sector and wider industries. AWS today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Singapore's HealthTech agency, Synapxe, to collaborate on a data and AI application that will enable healthcare providers to utilise data analytics and AI across healthcare systems.

As part of AI Spring Enterprise, AWS today signed a Memorandum of Intent (MoI) with the Infocomm and Media Development Authority (IMDA), to leverage Amazon Bedrock, Amazon SageMaker, and Amazon Q to develop an AI adoption programme for local enterprises to identify and scale AI for the most impactful use cases across their businesses. This MoI is a part of IMDA’s GenAI x Digital Leaders initiative to help digitally mature local companies innovate, develop, and deploy their own customised generative AI digital solutions.

According to a report by Access Partnership commissioned by AWS, “Accelerating AI Skills: Preparing the Asia-Pacific Workforce for Jobs of the Future,” hiring AI-skilled talent is a priority for eight in 10 Singapore employers, but 74% struggle to find the AI talent they need, highlighting a looming AI skills gap in the country. AWS is helping organisations upskill their employees to be ready for a future powered by generative AI.

Through AI Spring Workforce, AWS will upskill Singapore’s workforce by offering its latest and most robust skilling and professional certification programmes in cloud and AI. As part of this commitment, and to help advance the Singapore Government’s goal to triple the pool of AI practitioners to 15,000 over five years, AWS will collaborate with Institutes of Higher Learnings (IHLs) like universities and polytechnics, and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) on AI learning, with an aim to train 5,000 individuals across these learning institutions on AI skills yearly over three years, from 2024-2026. AWS will also leverage its generative AI services to empower teachers and students in IHLs, facilitating their learning, exploration, and experimentation with the technology. AWS today signed an MoU with ITE to incorporate AI education into ITE’s curriculum. Since 2017, AWS has trained more than 400,000 individuals in Singapore in cloud skills.

Read the full EIS report here.

Annex – Quotes from AWS AI Spring partners

“We believe that AI can be harnessed by enterprises to transform and stay ahead,” said Mr Leong Der Yao, assistant chief executive, Sectoral Transformation Group, IMDA. “In 2023, IMDA supported over 3,000 SMEs to adopt AI-enabled pre-approved solutions. Earlier this year, we also launched the GenAI Sandbox for SMEs and GenAI x Digital Leaders initiatives to enable our SMEs to adopt generative AI technology to generate greater business value. Building on this, we are excited to partner with AWS to uplift and empower our enterprises in generative AI. AWS, as a key global partner, will bring the necessary expertise to support IMDA’s GenAI x Digital Leaders initiative to help our digitally mature local companies identify and develop AI solutions for business transformation and growth. We are also working with AWS to incorporate AWS Training and Certification programmes in polytechnic and ITE curriculums. IMDA will continue to collaborate with AWS to upskill and reskill professionals in roles such as AI and Analytics.”

“ITE intends to equip all her students with AI and Gen-AI understanding and competencies to ensure they are industry-ready, job-ready and future-ready. AWS expertise and programmes will accelerate ITE’s plans for the students and staff to learn prompt engineering and start to use Gen-AI and LLM in their learning, projects and work. ITE and AWS will also conduct short CET Gen AI courses for the public and workers to support the upskilling of Singapore’s workforce,” said Low Khah Gek, CEO, ITE.

“The inking of the MOU with AWS reflects our mutual commitment towards enabling our public healthcare users with leading edge cloud-native analytics tools. It will catalyse more efficient analyses towards actionable insights, and transform the way we enhance the quality of healthcare for Singapore,” said Ngiam Siew Ying, CEO, Synapxe.