DAY 2: The Digital Future

On our second day in Singapore began with an early breakfast so we could make our meeting at the High Commission of Canada’s office in Singapore. Situated in Downtown Singapore, the High Commission of Canada’s office includes the Trade Commissioner Service who are responsible for promoting Canadian economic interests abroad. We had the opportunity to hear from four trade commissioners for Canada, including the charge d’affaires, who represented a vast range of sectors including education, ICT and foreign investment. We learned about the benefits of Canadian companies working with the Trade Commissioner Service and the key services that they provide their clients. They shared with us that some of the priority sectors they see for Canadian companies interested in working in Singapore; they included agri-food, cleantech, education, fintech, infrastructure and life sciences. With their expertise in the Singaporean market, we were all able to gain valuable market intel for our sponsors back in Canada. 

In the afternoon, we visited Temasek Polytechnic to learn about artificial intelligence and the future of automation. Temasek Polytechnic offers a unique robotics program due to its partnership with Hit Robot Group (HRG). Based out of China, HRG focuses on developing robots for a variety of fields and industries including the service, defence and manufacturing industry. Joined by Mr. James Soh, the Co-Chair of the APEC Voices Leadership Council, we learned about the future of artificial intelligence, and the different opportunities robots can provide companies. For example, HRG designed a concierge robot with a program that can guess a persons age. Our visit assisted many of our fellow ambassadors representing the tech industries in better understanding opportunities for advancement in Southeast Asia. 

After a busy day of meetings, many ambassadors, including myself, decided to venture out on an adventure to see the “Crazy Rich Asians” side of Singapore. After a quick trip on the metro, we arrived at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, where we took an elevator to the 57th floor to enjoy the views from the top of the “boat.” From the restaurant, we were able to see almost all of Singapore, giving me even more respect for this beautiful country. After an expensive meal including $27 of Fiji Water, we walked into Gardens by the Bay to enjoy the light show. Set to classical music, we watched the supertrees light up and transform us into a majestic forest. 

With three more busy days before we head off to Malaysia, we all headed back to the hotel to get a good nights rest before our next day of meetings.