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Singapore's IT Industry Surpasses $11 Billion Mark

SINGAPORE – 15 SEP 1998

Singapore's IT industry registered an overall growth rate of 32.3% in 1997, a slight dip from 34.3% in 1996. The total sales turnover of hardware, software and IT services to end- users (excluding manufacturing output and sales ...


Singapore's IT industry registered an overall growth rate of 32.3% in 1997, a slight dip from 34.3% in 1996. The total sales turnover of hardware, software and IT services to end- users (excluding manufacturing output and sales to distribution) grew to $11.95 billion in 1997, up from $9.04 billion in 1996 (see figure 1). As in previous years, the total IT industry growth was led largely by the export market.

These major findings were released by the National Computer Board (NCB) from its Singapore IT Industry Survey 1998.

Export Market Continued To Lead

In line with Singapore serving as an IT hub for the region, the export market continued to be buoyant at 37.0% in 1997, a lead over domestic market's growth rate of 26.1% (figure 2).

However, the rate of growth for the export market saw the initial impact of the regional economic crisis, as the growth rate slowed down from 52.7% registered in 1996 to 37.0%.

Highest Jump in Software Growth Rate

In 1997, the software sector experienced the highest jump in growth rate, from 13.8% in 1996 to 30.7% in 1997. IT services growth rate increased from 31.6% in 1996 to 33.8% in 1997. Growth rate for hardware sales declined from 37.8% in 1996 to 32.3% in 1997.

The increasing growth in IT software and services is in line with our goal to reinforce the NCB's objective to build up the IT industry in Singapore as a key component in the knowledge- based economy which the country is striving to achieve.

Expectations for Future IT Sales

Due to the regional economic crisis, the IT organisations surveyed projected a conservative growth of about 9.0% for 1998, a sharp dip from 32.3% in 1997 (see figure 3).

Both domestic and export markets are expected to weaken significantly in 1998, from last year's growth rates of 26.1% and 37.0% to 10.1% and 8.1% respectively.

In terms of product segment, hardware sales is projected to experience the sharpest slowdown to 4.1% over the 1997-98 period, compared to the growth rate of 32.2% registered over the 1996-97 period. Software sales is projected to grow the fastest at 30.0% (30.7% in 1996-97), followed by IT services at 22.4% (33.8% in 1996-97).

About the Survey

The NCB started conducting the annual IT Industry Survey in 1983, with the aim to monitor the market performance of the IT industry, as well as to identify key IT development trends in Singapore. Respondents were asked on the percentage breakdown of their sales revenue in 1997 to end-users in the domestic and export markets; of hardware and software, and by IT services segment.

LAST UPDATED: 19 JUN 2024