Lim Swee Say, Acting Minister for Environment and Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology - Address Netrepreneur of the Year Award 2001, Suntec Singapore

Lim Swee Say, Acting Minister for Environment and Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology - Address
Netrepreneur of the Year Award 2001, Suntec Singapore
Singapore, 31 March 2001

Dr Diana Young, President of the Association of Small & Medium Enterprises,
Mr Terence Chan, Chairman of the NEYA, Committee, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good evening

1 The night belongs to the Netrepreneurs. I shall keep my speech short.

2 The Dot Com fever came quickly. It took many by surprise. It left even quicker, and took many more by even greater surprise. So, where do we go from here?

3 In the present circumstances, people react in at least three ways. First, there are those who still wish they could live in the past, in the days of the Dot Com fever when they could spend a few months dreaming up new ideas, value their start-ups at millions of dollars, go for IPOs and then retire at the age of 30.

4 Well, it is not possible to stop the clock. It is time to move on and face the new reality.

5 Then there are those who wish they could return to the past, to the days of the old economy when life was much more stable and the pace of change that much more steady.

6 Well, we cannot turn back the clock. It is time to look ahead and face the new challenges.

7 Then, there are those who accept that the days of Dot Com fever have come and gone, and yet still believe that the New Economy is here to stay, for good.

8 The Netrepreneurs we are honouring to-night, belong to this third category of individuals. They dare to dream. They dare to take risks. Most of all, they do so with their feet firmly on the ground. They persevere to build Neterprises with the potential to grow and go the distance. Indeed, they are our role models in the Net Economy. Their fighting spirit and determination will go a long way in inspiring many of our young to follow in their footsteps.

9 Tonight, as we recognise the winners of the "Netrepreneur of the Year Award" and the "Most Promising Netrepreneur of the Year Award", we also pay tribute to the many Netrepreneurs and Neterprises nominated for these awards. The good response in the aftermath of the Dot Com fever is a strong testimony to the healthy growth of technopreneurship in Singapore. It augurs well for the future development of our economy as we strive to become a leading infocomm hub, and an innovation driven economy.

10 It is also worth noting that this Award is taking place at an uncertain time for the global economy. From a positive angle, this uncertainty in the global economic climate should spur our companies to move faster and more decisively to reposition themselves for the new economic landscape. The revolution unleashed by Internet will not change its course for some time to come. According to the Gartner Group, despite the cooling of the dot com fever, worldwide B2B e-Commerce will more than double from about $400 billion last year to $900 billion this year, and could reach $6 trillion by 2004.

11 Therefore, this uncertain time we are going through is not so much a time for companies to stop transforming their businesses. Rather, it is an opportune time for all of us, big and small enterprises, to gear up for new opportunities in the New Economy.

12 I congratulate the ASME for its initiative in launching the Netrepreneur of the Year Awards. The nominees and award winners are an inspiration to all of us. To everyone here tonight, I wish you success as you embrace info-communication and make e-business an integral part of your business future.

Thank you.

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023