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BUILDING & ENGINEERING, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Singapore launches nationwide e-invoicing standard

It is part of the government’s push for businesses to digitise.

Singapore launched the nationwide Pan-European Public Procurement On-Line (PEPPOL) electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) standard to encourage businesses to digitise. This makes it the national authority outside Europe, and first in Asia, to do so.

According to an announcement, this is part of the Infocomm Media Development Authority’s (IMDA) programmes to support its new Digital Economy framework for action, which builds upon the Infocomm Media Industry Transformation Map (ICM ITM).

PEPPOL enables the exchange of standardised machine-readable documents over its network. Some of the documents it can carry include: e-Invoice, e-Advance Shipping Notes, eCatalogues, Message Level Responses and e-Orders.

PEPPOL is owned and maintained by the non-profit organisation OpenPEPPOL, and governed by a multilateral agreement structure. “It was formed from the EU’s need for cross-border interoperability in public procurement processes, and has gone on to prove its relevance outside Europe and for business-to-business interoperability,” IMDA explained.

IMDA made seven other announcements for the Singapore Digital (SG:D) Industry Day.

It awarded BluPort and SingPost as the Federated Locker operators for the pilots at Bukit Panjang and Punggol respectively. “As part of this pilot, IMDA has also awarded a tender to Parcel Perform to develop and run an open, interoperable national platform that allows different parcel operators to deliver to the federated lockers, thus benefiting e-commerce players and consumers,” the agency added.

It also launched the Digital Project Management Services initiative as an enhancement to the SMEs Go Digital programme. Through this, SMEs can tap on a pool of digital project managers to help with the implementation of their digital plans. The Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) has been appointed as the first operator of these services.

IMDA will also launch virtual crowd-sourcing platform Open Innovation Platform in June 2018, support four digital platforms that enable AI and data services, and open two digital content programmes under Future of Media.

The agency also said that it will support the construction sector’s first pilot digital shared platform incorporating multi-user VR environment. It has also partnered with Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) to launch GoSecure to offer 200 ICT companies Security by Design Consultation and Vulnerability Assessment at a nominal fee.

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