A knowledge-based economy: the case of Singapore

Wong, Caroline (2008) A knowledge-based economy: the case of Singapore. International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, 8 (6). pp. 169-180.

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Singapore's commitment to knowledge-based economy (KBE) development in the past decade has enabled it to make a rapid and successful transition to a newly industrialized economy. Having invested heavily in ICT, the Singapore government is now keen to use content and creativity to enter the next wave of development.

The film industry is chosen as a microcosm level of analysis to examine the creative economy as the latest phase in Singapore's current economic development, especially when technology and information are used to navigate and mediate its people, resources and capital.

The objective of this research is to examine the types of competencies that enable firms to stay competitive in the contemporary knowledge-based economy in the light of technological advancement made in the industry. Examining the types of resources, especially the intangible ones that enable the film industry to thrive, develops our understanding of the complexity of this industry at a time when digital technology is leading to a period of great change in it.

It also seeks to examine the extent to which digitalization contributes to the growth and expansion of the Singapore film and animation industry and whether the film and animation industry can leverage on digitalization to bring about competitive advantage. The analysis is based on surveys and interviews conducted on the local film and animation producers in the industry.

Singapore was chosen as the subject of the analysis for two reasons. First, a great deal of government attention is currently being directed to the film industry there. Film now represents an emerging industry in Singapore. From 1995 to 1999, an average of less than four local films was produced per year. Singapore aims to build a sustainable industry producing 10 to 15 films per annum in three to five years. This evokes comparisons with the 'golden age of cinema' in the 1950s and 1960s, when the combined average annual output for Malay films was about 18 features.

Second, the Singaporean government, responding to global developments, has recognised that creative industries, including the motion picture, television and digital media production industries are becoming powerful engines of economic growth. In recent years, efforts have been made to exploit the economic benefits of culture. Film is one of the contenders in the new era as Singapore seeks to rebrand its image from a conservative society to a 'new Asian creative hub' (ERC Report, September 2002, p.8).

This study shows how the film industry in Singapore is transforming. Singaporean film remains marginal in the global circuit of film production and distribution. Can it rise to become more recognised while delivering economic returns on creative investment?

Item ID: 41592
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1447-9575
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2017 00:00
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150308 International Business @ 70%
15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150307 Innovation and Technology Management @ 30%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services @ 70%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 30%
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