Top technology trends to watch post COVID-19 are opportunities to collaborate on in the region.

The EU Business Avenues Programme has announced its first virtual Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) business mission to South East Asia.

From 28 September to 1 October 2020, the virtual business mission will be part of ConnecTechAsia’s first ever virtual tradeshow.

Says Barbara Plinkert, European Union Ambassador to Singapore: “The first virtual ICT business mission shows that we are adapting quickly to a new and more digital normal. There is huge potential for even more business collaborations between the EU and Singapore in the context of our comprehensive Trade Agreement in force since 21 November.”

In light of the current pandemic, Ambassador Plinkert highlights the increased importance of “European ICT solutions such as telehealth, identity verifications and remote banking solutions. The unprecedented times we find ourselves in open up new areas and avenues for businesses to taxp on technological solutions needed to support various sectors, industries and businesses.”

While adapting to the conditions necessitated by the pandemic, this virtual ICT business mission will continue to allow meaningful one-on-one online meetings using the newest technologies. Representatives from various European companies will be going live from noon to 6pm (Singapore Time).

COVID-19 has changed our lives and fast-tracked digital transformation for many businesses, from working in a physical office to working remotely and from selling a product in a store to selling on social media and e-commerce platforms. Boundaries are removed as we trade online and meet virtually instead of in a physical tradeshow. This has increased our reliance on technology and created new opportunities for the ICT sector.

According to the World Economic Forum, the top 10 technology trends to watch post COVID-19 are opportunities to tap on, and include a wide range of ICT areas ranging from online shopping and e-commerce to robot delivery, contactless payment, remote working arrangements, distance learning, telehealth, online entertainment, IoT/cloud computing, 3D printing, use of robotics and drones and readiness of 5G network.

European solution providers will be introducing several of these technologies and solutions including remote collaboration and monitoring solutions which are even more useful in our current times.  

Other solutions include AI/machine learning tools, fintech solutions, cybersecurity software and specialised solutions such as fleet management solution targeting at maritime industry, and solutions for satellite navigation and space situational awareness.  

Speed and agility are important as businesses need to react quickly to the prevalent market situation. South East Asian companies can use these existing or proven solutions and implement it quickly.   

While the global economies are slowing down due to the pandemic, the overall ICT industry will be catapulted back to growth as new technologies begin to account for a larger share of the market. The emergence of IoT is already contributing to significant market growth, and within 5-10 years new technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and AR/VR will also expand to represent over 25% of ICT spending, as forecasted by IDC.

The EU Business Avenues in South East Asia programme has seen many positive outcomes in the recent past. One of the past participants in an actual physical mission, Portuguese company ManWinWin acquired its first client in Thailand and a Singapore reseller of solutions to industrial plants, a niche sector that ManWinWin is targeting.

A Finnish company FA Solutions formed a partnership with an international software development company which has a decade-long presence and experience in SE Asia to develop customised solutions for the financial markets in the region.