David T.E.Lim, Acting Minister for Information, Communications & The Arts - Speech Singapore Information Technology Federation (SITF) New Premise Opening Singapore, 22 January 2002

David T.E.Lim, Acting Minister for Information, Communications & The Arts - Speech
Singapore Information Technology Federation (SITF) New Premise Opening
Singapore, 22 January 2002


Good evening
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

We enter 2002 on a somber and cautious note, in the midst of a worldwide economic downturn, and facing new challenges to our security and growth. It is critical that we do not lose faith but continue to work even harder and more creatively to meet these challenges. We can forge ahead when the global economy picks up, if we put in the effort now to innovate and re-invent ourselves to stay competitive.

The Government is re-inventing itself. In November last year, we transferred the info-communications technology portfolio to the restructured Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. We did this because the traditional boundaries that used to separate the telecommunications, IT and broadcasting industries have blurred and many overlapping markets have emerged. We therefore decided to revamp our industry development and regulatory approach to keep pace with the new developments and the changing market environment. Going forward, this will ensure better co-ordination and consistency in policy implementation so that we would be well positioned to leverage on the full potential of convergence, when it is eventually realised.

Convergence brings about an abundance of opportunities, with new convergent services such as interactive TV, video-on-demand, interactive games, as well as applications like home banking, news and information services. MITA will therefore focus on establishing a close partnership with industry to leverage on emerging opportunities, and to support the industry in building new capability and services.

Partnering with the Industry

Industry associations such as the Singapore IT Federation, or SITF, have an important role to play in this endeavour. As the national organisation representing the IT industry, SITF is in a good position to articulate the significant issues and challenges faced by the industry. The Government values such inputs and feedback. In the coming year, I look forward to working closely with industry to identify and resolve areas of concern, and to tap your ideas in drawing up policies and programs to move the industry forward.

The Government and industry can also collaborate on projects to support industry development. I am pleased that since its formation three years ago, the SITF has launched many initiatives to promote the interests of the local IT industry. Last year, IDA committed a total of about $5 million to co-fund some of these projects.

One of these initiatives was the "Made in Singapore and Proud of I.T." exhibition. The event, which showcased locally developed IT solutions and services, debuted last year, and attracted participation from 80 companies and an attendance of 10,000 visitors. SITF has also set up several competency centers. One of them is the E-learning Competency Centre, which promotes e-learning awareness, development and standards. Another is the National Infocomm Competency Centre, which conducts certification and training programmes for critical skills. In addition, IDA has supported the formation of four chapters under SITF. They are the Application Service Providers cum Internet Data Centres Chapter, the E-learning Chapter, the Singapore Enterprises Chapter, and the Wireless Chapter. These chapters play an important role in championing the needs of the respective segments within the IT industry.

On this point, I am also happy to note the impending launch of the Security Chapter, which was announced by Mr. Willie Cheng, the Chairman of SITF, in his earlier welcome address. Infocomm security has become an important area for the industry, and I hope that the Chapter will pave the way for both the industry players and policy makers to work closely together to address key issues in this area.

Finally, I am heartened to learn that the SITF has partnered with international organisations, such as the Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organisation or ASOCIO and the World Information Technology and Services Alliance or WITSA, to ensure that the voice of the Singapore IT industry is represented internationally. SITF has also established bilateral trade agreements with organisations in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. I encourage the SITF to strive towards leadership roles in these organizations, to raise the profile of Singapore's ICT capabilities in the Global IT arena.

Call for Collaboration (CFC)

Looking forward, I am happy to announce this evening the 4th Call for Collaboration with Industry by IDA under the PATH initiative. PATH is the acronym for Pilot and Trial Hotspots, which is a program aimed at accelerating the development of innovations in the Infocomm industry by supporting trials and pilot projects of emerging technologies. When it was first launched, PATH was focused primarily on wireless technologies. However, since November last year, the PATH program has been expanded to fund all emerging infocomm technologies and best of breed services. The funds set aside for PATH have also been increased from $9 million to $48 million.

The fourth CFC that we launch this evening is for an Aggregation of Application Service Providers or ASP Aggregator model. This new CFC seeks to bring together technology providers, user enterprises and ASPs to implement a platform to consolidate available services from various ASP solution providers.

In the current economic climate, the "do-it-alone" strategy will be difficult, because ASPs need to have strong financial backing to pay for the high infrastructure and deployment costs, and to build up a market presence. By collaborating with other partners in the ASP value chain, companies will be able to achieve higher productivity and lower risks, and leverage on the capabilities and brand image of their partners. I would therefore encourage all the interested parties to consider signing up for it with IDA.

Conclusion

To conclude, I urge SITF to continue with its excellent work of promoting the Singapore IT industry through its various initiatives and projects. Last but not least, I would like to offer SITF my heartiest congratulations on this happy occasion of your Open House.

Thank you.


Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023