15 June 2010 - Opening Address by Mr Lui Tuck Yew, Acting Minister for Information, Communications and The Arts, at The Infocomm Media Business Exchange Opening Ceremony on 15 June 2010, Expo Hall 2
Opening Address by Mr Lui Tuck Yew, Acting Minister for Information, Communications and The Arts, at The Infocomm Media Business Exchange Opening Ceremony on 15 June 2010, Expo Hall 2
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. Good morning and a warm welcome to the Infocomm Media Business Exchange 2010. imbX 2010 has grown to become a global platform with close to 2,000 exhibiting companies from over 57 countries with us today. It is encouraging that some 365 established local companies and start-ups from the infocomm and media sectors are taking part in this year's event.
2. The global and regional outlook for the ICT and media sectors looks promising. The International Monetary Fund has forecast that the world economy will grow by 4.2 per cent this year, spearheaded by growth in Asia and the Middle East1. Gartner, one of the world's leading IT research and advisory companies, has forecast a 5.32 per cent increase in IT spending in 2010, to US$3.4 trillion, with further growth of 4.2 per cent in 2011. PricewaterhouseCoopers has forecast a steady growth of 2.7 per cent per annum until 20133 under their Global and Media Entertainment Outlook.
3. Across Asia, rising incomes are expected to spur growth in these sectors. The International Data Corporation has predicted that ICT spending in the Asia-Pacific region, with the exception of Japan, will grow 7.7 per cent to US$184 billion in 20104. In Singapore, the ICT industry revenue also grew by 8 per cent to reach S$62.74 billion in 2009, despite the economic downturn. All in all, the outlook for all of us in the ICT and media industries appears promising.
4. Singapore is actively partnering countries seeking to develop their ICT and media sectors. Companies in Singapore have also widened their international footprint. IDA's subsidiary arm, IDA International, which was established in response to a number of requests from foreign counterparts to partner IDA, has ventured as far afield as the Middle East, South Africa and the Americas, offering to share our experience in national infocomm planning. Among others, IDA International has helped the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago drive the implementation of e-Government services.
5. There is also a strong demand for products and services offered by local ICT and media companies. Sparky Animation and The Jim Henson Company's children animation series Dinosaur Train has topped ratings charts on the USA's PBS network. Equally encouraging, is the fact that Muvee Technologies' autoProducer home-movie production software has sold millions of copies worldwide. I am heartened to note that our ICT and media companies have been able to gain international mindshare and access to the global consumers.
Progress of Masterplans
6. Beyond economic objectives, the development of the ICT sector also serves to bridge social divides and help deliver effective government services. In Singapore, one key strategy under our Intelligent Nation 2015, or iN2015, master plan launched in 2006 was to make ICT more accessible and pervasive to all Singaporeans. To date, 8 in 10 households now have broadband internet access, and almost all households with school-going children have a computer5. Global rankings, such as the World Economic Forum's global Networked Readiness Index6, further affirm Singapore's efforts in connecting individuals, businesses and communities, and enriching lives through the more sophisticated use of ICT.
7. Singapore is also committed to strengthening our position as a centre for Asian media content. To this end, we unveiled the Singapore Media Fusion Plan at BroadcastAsia last year which underscores the Government's long-term commitment to invest in, and grow the media sector. We aim to bring about a vibrant ecosystem that will continue to attract companies to invest and operate in Singapore.
8. Let me take this opportunity to share more on the progress of these plans and some of the key strategies that will guide our development efforts going forward.
Update on Next Gen Infrastructure
9. On the ICT front, we have rolled out the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network, or Next Gen NBN. The Next Gen NBN is the cornerstone of iN2015, and will transform the way businesses and consumers interact and access information. The roll-out of the network is on track to reach 60 per cent of households by end of this year and achieve nationwide coverage by mid-2012.
10. The government will also provide further incentives to encourage the private sector to develop and roll-out innovative services over the Next Gen NBN. Following IDA's Call-for-Proposal for the Next Gen Services Innovation Programme, seven proposals had been accepted to deploy services such as interactive multimedia kiosks and remote storage-as-a-service. Pilot trials are underway and the companies are targeting to make them commercially available by end this year. IDA will initiate another Call-for-Proposal later this year. You will be able to have a preview of some Next Generation services at the Infocomm Experience Centre before it officially opens on 1 July 2010. It will feature the limitless possibilities and benefits of the Next Gen NBN with a permanent showcase of interactive and engaging exhibits.
Singapore Internet Exchange
11. I am also pleased to announce the commercial launch of the Singapore Internet Exchange or SGIX. This is a single platform where the different telecommunications service providers converge to share information between their consumer and business subscribers.
12. The SGIX will provide local and foreign telecommunications service operators with a neutral and highly efficient facility for the exchange of internet traffic. It will also improve the quality and speed of broadband for Singapore users and they can look forward to faster video streaming and a smoother online gaming experience.
13. The two operational nodes of the SGIX are envisioned to exchange up to 50 per cent of local internet traffic between its members. I am encouraged to note that 15 companies, including major internet providers such as SingTel, PacNet and Nucleus Connect, have signed on to SGIX.
National Authentication Framework
14. With increasing popularity and pervasiveness of e-transactions in both the public and private sectors, ensuring that such transactions are carried out securely is a key priority. Through collaboration with key sectoral regulators, IDA has established the National Authentication Framework, or NAF, to provide a secure and cost-effective common platform for transactions such as online e-commerce and e-banking. This Framework will standardise the delivery of authentication services for businesses and consumers so that they can conduct their e-transactions conveniently and securely. IDA will be setting up a wholly-owned subsidiary to own the infrastructure and offer strong authentication services.
iN2015 will Transform the Way We Live, Work and Learn
15. Beyond our investment in ICT infrastructure, we will continue to harness the power of ICT to transform key economic sectors. Let me share with you two examples of how we envisage this to happen.
16. First, the TradeXchange platform. TradeXchange was set up to improve Singapore's competitiveness as a trade and logistics hub. It allows companies to integrate their processes, thereby contributing to improved operational efficiency and supply chain visibility. Recently, four consortia involving 22 companies were awarded a Call-For-Collaboration to integrate key processes in marine cargo insurance, freight management and trade financing through the TradeXchange. The industry and government will co-invest on these projects. By the end of 2011, more than 100 companies in the trade and logistics sector and about 20 per cent of the 4 million annual export shipments are expected to benefit from this platform.
17. ICT can also catalyse the growth of the mobile services ecosystem in Singapore. Under the Digital Concierge programme, IDA and six companies will jointly invest $10 million over the next two years. This intent is to develop and deploy a set of common mobile shared services and enablers that can be used by all industry players to develop transactional, location-based and mobile commerce services that appeal to the consumer.
Mediapolis Phase Ø
18. Let me move on to the media sector. A strong media ecosystem is an important ingredient for the growth of innovation. To this end, MDA has been developing a prototype of the future Mediapolis@one-north called Mediapolis Phase Ø. With a planned area of about 16,000 sqm, Mediapolis Phase Ø will cater primarily to the incubation of new start-ups, as well as test-bedding and prototyping of innovative concepts in sectors such as interactive digital media, film and broadcast. I note that a number of media companies have already expressed interest in Mediapolis Phase Ø, which is expected to be ready for occupancy by the first quarter of 2011. I am confident Mediapolis Phase Ø will enhance creative exchanges among industry players and inject more vibrancy to the media sector.
3DTV Nationwide Trials
19. Media companies worldwide have trumpeted the entertainment and commercial potential of 3D media content. Singapore aims to be a key player in this field by supporting the end-to-end production, post-production and commercial roll-out of stereoscopic 3D content. We have already made some inroads in this field and the 3D capabilities of 11 Singapore companies will be showcased at BroadcastAsia.
20. Aside from content, the momentum in 3D developments is extending from the cinema to the television space. Singapore is gearing up with the launch of a nationwide 3DTV trial. MediaCorp, Starhub and SingTel will be testing transmission signals and addressing technical challenges on platforms such as terrestrial TV, cable TV and IPTV for one year, starting from today. The trial will be a stepping stone to help these companies bring a commercially-viable and superior media experience to Singaporeans. In support of this, the Media Development Authority of Singapore, or MDA, will also launch a S$5 million fund to facilitate the trial and aid development of content, talent and media services.
Innovation in Interactive Digital Media
21. MDA, in recognition of the potential of the IDM space, launched the Future of Media initiative last year to develop innovative services, tools and applications in the areas of TV, Games, Books, and Virtual Worlds. To date, 23 projects have been selected through various Calls-for-Proposals to date. These projects will commit close to $50 million worth of investments into Singapore over the next two years. Through this initiative, MDA has also brought together more than 160 companies in five partner networks, which will collaborate to develop innovative applications and services, as well as explore opportunities to expand their footprints into high growth regions in Asia.
22. An interesting example of the products and services developed by our local companies is TANGOFX by ABOVE Technologies. TANGOFX allows users to share media content across networks and devices, and provides for a more interactive and personalised consumer experience for viewers.
23. The possibilities and opportunities in the constantly-evolving ICT and media sectors are huge and have the propensity to bring about momentous change to empower future generations of innovation. imbX 2010 gives us a foretaste of the fast changing developments to come. I wish all our overseas and local visitors a fruitful and rewarding visit to imbX 2010. I now declare imbX 2010 open.
24. Thank you.
Notes to Editor:
1According to the IMF's "World Economic Outlook", published on 7 Apr 2010.www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2010/01/index.htm. Asia is expected to grow 6.9% in 2010. The Middle East and North Africa region is expected to grow 4.5%.
2According to Gartner's press release "Gartner Says Worldwide IT Spending To Grow 5.3 Percent in 2010" dated 12 April 2010. www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1339013
3 According to PricewaterhouseCoopers' "Global entertainment and media outlook: 2009 - 2013", published on 16 Jun 2009.
4According to IDC's press release "Early Stages of Economic Recovery and Industry Transformation: The Maturation of the Cloud and Investment in Better Customer Care and Retention Tools Lead IDC's Asia/Pacific Predictions for 2010 " dated 11 Dec 2009 . www.idc.com/AP/pressrelease.jsp?containerId=prSG22114409
5 According to (1) IDA's 2009 Annual Survey on Infocomm Usage in Households and by Individuals; and (2) IDA's 2009 Annual Survey on Infocomm Manpower. The proportion of households that connect to the Internet at home via a broadband connection has risen to 80 per cent in 2009 from 54 percent in 2005. Similarly, home computer access in homes with school-going children is now at 95 per cent.
6 The World Economic Forum ranked Singapore second in the global Networked Readiness Index and the Waseda University World put Singapore on the top spot in its e-Government ranking in 2009 and 2010.