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A Scramble for Tech dominance: Governments Creating Favorable Environments for Advancement in a Bid to Corner the Market

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Ten years ago, the current in-demand tech jobs such as Cloud Specialist, iOS and Android app developers, Big Data Architect, and Data Scientist did not exist.

Projecting forward, statistics indicate that 47% of the jobs now will disappear in the next 25 years thanks to the efficiency technology brings. Technology is changing lives and systems at an unprecedented speed, and governments are realizing that those who control it in the future will garner significant global influence, and more importantly, reap the financial gains from dominating the market.

In that regard, tons of countries are implementing laws that create a favorable environment to foster interest in technology in a bid to spearhead technological breakthroughs in the country. Amongst them, 2 prime examples are Singapore and Taiwan.

Taiwan’s goal to dominate the market in blockchain technology

Recently, Taiwan has begun implementing serious laws and legislation that will help make the country a notable crypto nation and a ‘blockchain island’. The effort is spearheaded by entrepreneur turned Congressman and Legislator Jason Hsu.

In an interview, Jason said that he intends to turn the country into a haven for people working on different applications of blockchain technology. Additionally, he said that he sees the potential for blockchain technology in many areas of life, including education, health, and the justice system.

He also noted that he intended to develop a ‘special economic zone,’ that would bring 200 global blockchain companies to Taiwan. In a bid to spur on adoption, the government of Taiwan will also come up with a digital identity solution known as “Taiwan Global ID,” that allows citizens to get their visas utilizing decentralized blockchain.

Finally, the government will leverage Taiwan’s primary strength—semiconductors and IC chip design—to build more powerful mining chips. As a result, instead of just one company monopolizing mining machines, the average citizen will be able to mine and add on to the ecosystem.

Decentralizing the hash power or hash rate, Jason believes, will help contribute to the advent of a true Bitcoin peer-to-peer network.

Singapore’s smart nation initiative

Last year, Singapore appointed the first Government Chief Digital Technology Officer—Mr. Chan Hoe—as part of the Smart Nation Initiative. The initiative aims to serve Singaporean citizens and businesses better through technology.

One of the ways the initiative will serve citizens better is by thinking of Singaporeans as customers of digital services the government puts through the GovTech agency.

Once the government starts thinking of its citizens as customers, it will then consider their input when developing solutions and as a result, provide better solutions. Mr. Chan Hoe likened it to the Agile software development framework which depends on customer feedback at each stage of development, which results in updates and tweaks that produce more comprehensive apps that end users love.

An example of the Singaporean government commitment to this mode of thinking was a session held in May last year to get feedback from senior citizens on the emergency alert system that uses sensor technology.

Moreover, one of the services already deployed—parking.sg—was in response to citizens’ need for an efficient way to pay for parking instead of using physical coupons.

Finally, the government is doing its best to educate its citizens so that there can be a mind shift, and citizens can embrace technology and see it as a good thing.

Conclusion

Referencing the above examples; it is evident that governments are doing three key things to put their countries at the forefront when it comes to technology.

One, as noted with Singapore, the government is educating local talent to increase interest in tech innovation. The GovTech agency noted above is a government-sponsored agency that sources its talented engineers and software developers locally. GovTech is responsible for creating the hugely successful parking.sg app also mentioned above.

Second, as seen in Taiwan, governments are working to attract foreign talents through favorable policies. The ‘special economic zone,’ in Taiwan will play a key role in putting the country on the map regarding global companies that want to invest.

Finally, governments are also equipping their citizens with needed tools to enable them to succeed in the highly competitive tech industry — case in point, Taiwan’s manufacture of high functioning machines to help in mining cryptocurrencies.

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