30 May 2005 - Opening Address By Mr Chan Yeng Kit, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore At Chinese Media Briefing Session, Shangri-La Hotel, Pudong, Shanghai.
Opening Address By Mr Chan Yeng Kit, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore At Chinese Media Briefing Session on 30 May 2005, Shangri-La Hotel, Pudong, Shanghai.
Distinguished members of the press,
1. First of all, I want to thank all of you for taking time to join us today and for your continued support towards IDA in the past four years.
2. China is a country that is close to my heart. From 1993 to 1995, I served as the Executive Committee Secretary of the consortium leading the development of the Singapore-Suzhou Industrial Park. I am really glad to be back here again and to have the opportunity to meet with all of you today.
3. Over the past 25 years, the transformation and rapid growth of the Chinese economy and the development of its information, communications and technology (ICT) sector has been one of the brightest spots in the global market and global economy. China as a whole has been putting in a lot of emphasis on the use of ICT as an enabler for government as well as for businesses. Shanghai is also a contributor and one of the brightest stars in China's software industry. This contributes about 47.7% to the industry's national revenue with Shanghai's overall Information Industry registering RMB438B. Shanghai is also very active in driving some of their e-Government efforts and I am honored to be able to contribute to that effort by sharing some experiences of our e-Government Journey during CIAPR earlier this afternoon.
Singapore is China's Committed Partner in the ICT Market
4. Singapore and China share many similarities in our goals and plans to improve access to ICT, bridging the digital divide and empowering our local communities and businesses to use ICT for their own development. At the same time, we are committed to incorporate ICT into the government and society because we believe that this will help to spur socio-economic developments as well as build greater competitive advantages for our countries.
5. Today, Singapore is well known for its established status as one of the leading trading and commercial centres in Asia Pacific and in the world. We are also indeed fortunate to have achieved some success in developing a networked society. The World Economic Forum recently ranked Singapore first in its Global IT Report for our innovative use of IT. Accenture ranked Singapore's e-Government as one of the top 3 in the world for 5 consecutive years.
6. There are obvious synergies between China and Singapore, as our collaboration extends beyond just knowledge exchange and transfer. We believe there is considerable potential to maximize complementary strengths and reinforce a strong and enduring partnership between the two countries.
7. Since IDA started our presence in China in 2001, I am pleased and excited about the successes we have achieved. Through the years, we have established a very strong relationship with the Shanghai Informatization Commission, the Shanghai Communications Administration and various government departments in Shanghai, Beijing,Guangzhou, Nanjing and Hangzhou. Through these strong relations, we have built up the confidence and reputation of the "Singapore ICT" brand.
8. Many Singapore companies are today working closely with Chinese companies to spearhead technological projects in various industries from healthcare and logistics to banking and e-government. These projects are just some of examples of how Sino-Singapore collaboration has generated greater socio-economic benefits: - The Hospital Information System (HIS) project for Tongren Hospital in Beijing and Songjiang District Central Hospital in Shanghai (2004)
- E-Payment system for Xiamen City (2004)
- E-Logistics consultancy project for Guangzhou City (2003)
- E-Payment kiosks for Beijing City (2003)
9. The Singapore Solutions Centre (SSC), set up in May 2004, celebrated its first year anniversary recently. The RMB15 million SSC,which showcases our ICT development and regional hub status in the Transport, Logistics, Healthcare and Financial Services sector, is a further endorsement of our strong commitment to work with China as a long-term ICT partner.
10. Singapore is a living lab and business accelerator for ICT development, where e-Government solutions have been thoroughly tested and can be easily introduced and implemented in China to meet the needs of the Chinese government and companies. I am confident that all the companies within the SSC will continue to offer Chinese companies easy access to a complementary suite of integrated solutions that have been tried, tested and in some cases, won awards in Singapore and overseas.
11. At the same time, IDA will continue lend its resources to facilitate networking of Chinese and Singaporean infocomm companies beyond China and Singapore. In the past few years,IDA has organized several mission trips to various Chinese cities so as to encourage greater exchange and collaboration between Singapore ICT companies and their counterparts in China. Two more such mission trips have been planned in the next few months - one to the southern cities in China and another to the Zhejiang province.
The Singapore e-Government Journey
12. As I have mentioned at the CIAPR conference, our foray into eGovernment is not by choice. Singapore is a very small country with no natural resources. Our key assets are our people. In order for us to operate more efficiently and to overcome our lack of size and numbers, we have to use information and communications technology (ICT) as a force multiplier and help us to be more efficient and productive. We see ICT as a strategic tool to help us achieve greater competitiveness.
13. Singapore is serious about fulfilling its vision of a dynamic and vibrant global infocomm capital with a networked government that delivers accessible, integrated, value-added services to the citizens. Today, we have over 1,600 government services available online. In 2003, we continued our e-Govermment journey and launched the e-Government Action Plan II which essentially delivers more one-stop, integrated services to meet the needs of our public and businesses. My colleague, Yuk Wah, will later share with you more about the Singapore e-government journey.
14. However, today, I am extremely delighted to receive the United Nations Public Service award for one of our e-Government Services initiatives - the Online Application System For Integrated Services or OASIS - on behalf of the Singapore government. On example of an integrated service is the Online Business Licence Service or OBLS. The OBLS is spearheaded by Singapore's Ministry of Trade & Industry, project managed by IDA and developed by Ecquaria Technologies and National Computer Systems. Both of them are leading Singapore software solutions companies who are very active in the Chinese market.
15. This is a significant win for Singapore and it will spur us on to create more innovative avenues that will provide greater convenience for businesses and individuals to interact with the government. Our vision is to be a networked government that delivers accessible, integrated, value-added services to the citizens.
16. The OBLS is a pioneering one-stop eService, integrating 69 licences from 19 government agencies, for new company/business registrations and licence applications. Previously, businesses need to go to each agency individually to apply for different licences. Today, 80% of start-ups in Singapore can go to www.business.gov.sg to apply and pay for their business licences online.
17. My colleague from the Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Development will later provide you with more details on the project.
18. There are tremendous opportunities for China and Singapore to share and learn from each other's experience in tapping the potential of ICT to enhance economic performance.
19. Through partnerships with Singaporean companies, Chinese companies can also leverage on Singapores connectivity to export its solutions and services to serve the larger markets in the region and the world. Singapore is the ideal gateway for Chinese companies planning to expand their operations in Asia and beyond.
20. Thank you.