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Tech investments drop in Singapore

Singapore saw a decline in total business spending in technology last year, according to the government. Investments in key communications and media industries dropped 3 percent to $502 million (S$870 million), said the city-state's Economic Development Board (EDB). Despite the downturn, Singapore managed to anchor several major information technology projects, EDB said. These included a business center for financial solutions provider Polaris, IBM?s trading center, as well as Microsoft?s commitment to Singapore?s Web services efforts.

While corporate expenditure dropped moderately in 2002, the number of IT-related jobs saw a much steeper plunge. In all, 2,300 jobs are expected to result from tech investments last year, down almost 50 percent from the previous year. The employment nose-dive is a reflection of current business conditions, said Quek Swee Kuan, a director at EDB. "Companies find it challenging to achieve top-line growth and continue to focus on cost efficiencies," Quek said.

CNETAsia's Winston Chai reported from Singapore.

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