Lim Swee Say, Acting Minister for Environment and Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology - Speech, NTT Singapore Internet Data Centre Official Opening

Lim Swee Say, Acting Minister for Environment and Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology - Speech, NTT Singapore Internet Data Centre Official Opening

Singapore, 18 July 2001

1 I would like to congratulate NTT Communications on the official opening of its Internet Data Center in Singapore.

2 Even though the global economy is going through a cyclical downturn, we can expect the structural trend towards the New Economy to continue. The pace of e-Revolution may be slower, but it will be more realistic and sustainable. We firmly believe that economies and corporations that continue to re-invent and re-position during this cyclical downturn will end up with structural advantage by the time the downturn is over. They will find themselves in a much better position to ride the upturn when it comes.

3 Two weeks ago, Taylor Nelson Sofres conducted a survey among the attendees at an e-Commerce conference held in Hong Kong. A vast majority indicated that they still believed in the future of the Internet industry. 27% of the respondents rated Singapore as the hottest e-Commerce location in Asia Pacific. Japan received high rating too, with 26% of the votes. Third was Hong Kong with 19% of the vote. The official opening of NTT's IDC today is indeed consistent with the general sentiment in the business community. It reflects your confidence in the future of Internet and online businesses, and our determination to develop Singapore into a leading infocomm hub in Asia Pacific, notwithstanding the global cyclical downturn we are now experiencing.

4 The potential growth of Internet traffic, content and online service is tremendous. The number of active Internet users in Asia was estimated at about 50 millions as of the end of last year. It is projected to exceed 150 million by 2004, which is only three years away. At this rate, Asia will account for more than 25% of total online population in the world by then.

5 e-Commerce revenue in Asia Pacific is growing fast too. It was estimated at about US$40 billion in 2000. By 2004, it could exceed US$300 billion. What is even more encouraging is that revenue from broadband access in Asia Pacific is expected to grow rapidly from US$320 million in 1999 to more than US$6 billion by 2004.

6 As a firm believer in the huge potential of broadband and wireless Internet, Singapore is well poised to meet the growing demand for content, bandwidth, accessibility and online transactions. Today, we have put in place a broadband NII (National Information Infrastructure) within Singapore. We are also well connected to the GII and RII (Global and Regional Information Infrastructure). With a total submarine cable capacity of more than 20 Terabits per second by 2002, Singapore is undoubtedly one of the most connected cities in Asia.

7 As the technology and market continue to trend towards the convergence of voice, data and video, the development, hosting and delivery of interactive multimedia contents are sure to take the central stage. Video streaming, web-casting, video conferencing, interactive graphic images and online music and songs are likely to become the norms in the Internet industry. By adopting a concerted and sustained effort, Singapore is well positioned and well equipped with both the capability and the capacity to harness the growth potential of Internet industry in Asia.

8 We welcome the move by NTT Communications to locate its IDC in Singapore. The Centre will be built at a cost of $23.5 million over the next two years. This IDC in Singapore will become an integral part of NTT Communications' Global IDC network, serving as a leading Internet gateway to the region.

9 Once again, I thank NTT Communications for their confidence in Singapore. I congratulate NTT Communications on the launch of the Internet Data Centre here in Singapore, and wish you great success as you embark on this exciting venture. Thank you.

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023