13 March 2012 - Speech by Mr Lui Tuck Yew, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, at the Asia Pacific ICT Summit 2012 at Marina Bay Sands
Speech by Mr Lui Tuck Yew, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, at the Asia Pacific ICT Summit 2012 on Tuesday, 13 March 2012 at 9 am at Marina Bay Sands
Mr Eddie Chau,
Mr Vijoy Varghese,
Asia Pacific ICT Summit Organising Chairman
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. It is my pleasure to join you this morning to open the Asia Pacific ICT Summit 2012. SiTF has contributed significantly to the development of Singapore's ICT industry and I am happy to note their leading role in the Asia Pacific ICT Summit today.
Riding on the Wave of Digital Revolution
2. Growth in the global ICT industry is expected to be driven by demand for mobile devices such as smartphones, mobile networks, as well as greater use of social networks and business analytics. The growth of ICT has also paved the way for a young but rapidly growing Interactive Digital Media, or IDM sub-sector, which includes mobile media, games and simulation. Combining strengths in ICT and digital media, Singapore is well-positioned to ride the wave of digital revolution and we expect to see sustained momentum in ICT and IDM growth over the next year.
3. The Singapore Government is also on board the digital bandwagon to transform the delivery of public services. Last June, the eGov2015 masterplan was launched to enable a Collaborative Government that co-creates and connects with our people. Today, citizens and businesses can access more than 1,600 online services and more than 300 mobile services offered by the Government. For instance, mGov@SG is a mobile site that aggregates different types of government mobile services for the convenience of our citizens. One of the more popular mobile applications is Land Transport Authority (LTA)'s MyTransport.SG that allows citizens to have easy and convenient access to public transport and motoring information while on-the-move. The Government is also sharing useful data with the public such as real-time transport information that could be used for research purposes or the development of smart applications, through the data.gov.sg and MyTransport.SG portals.
Vibrant Digital Hub in Asia
4. Singapore is in a good position to be a vibrant digital hub in Asia. We have to our advantage, advanced and reliable infrastructure, and excellent global connectivity. Our ultra-high speed Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network enables Singaporeans to enjoy a richer broadband experience, and allows businesses to use infocomm extensively to boost productivity and competitiveness. The project has propelled Singapore to the forefront of broadband development internationally, and I am pleased to note that 95 per cent of homes and non-residential buildings in Singapore will be provided with coverage within the next quarter.
5. The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, or IDA, has also established the Singapore Internet Exchange or SGIX for local and international telecom carriers, which is expected to boost traffic exchange activities as well as content hosting and data centre services.
6. On the content front, the Media Development Authority of Singapore, or MDA, is developing Mediapolis@one-north as an innovation facility for media and ICT talents to congregate in a synergistic environment. Later this year, two soundstages will be launched, a first for Singapore which will certainly be a boon for our digital media sector.
7. I am pleased that companies are increasingly using Singapore as a hub for digital content services, and to test-bed new services to emerging markets in Asia. For instance, UK-based media service provider Digitales has recently set up business in Singapore to develop a global content platform - to aggregate entertainment content, social media and consumer analytics to measure the popularity of celebrities and brands for the international market.
Achieving Greater Heights
8. The Government is also committed to help infocomm companies or start-ups expand and gain new capabilities. For instance, IDA's iSTART@Silicon Valley programme which aims to help local companies expand into Silicon Valley, had on its first run last year netted about S$12 million worth of term sheet offers and pilot projects. Singapore companies interested in the China market can approach the Infocomm Singapore Centre (ISC) in Shanghai to link up with Chinese infocomm companies. To date, the ISC, a joint IDA-SiTF effort that started in 2004, has facilitated more than S$80 million worth of export revenue. For individuals and start-ups with breakthrough ideas, MDA's i.JAM programme, or the Interactive Digital Media Jump-start And Mentor programme, provides funds to develop your ideas into innovative products and services. Since 2007, the programme has benefitted more than 200 start-ups and over 700 entrepreneurs to gain critical market access beyond Singapore's shores; and more are expected to benefit from the programme.
9. I am pleased that IDA, with the support of the National Productivity and Continuing Education Council, has set aside close to S$50 million over the next five years to execute Singapore's Infocomm Industry Productivity Roadmap. The Roadmap will benefit our local infocomm companies in many ways, including helping them acquire new capabilities and resources to remodel their business; facilitating access to cost-effective shared resources; building up specialised skill sets, and finally, extending their market outreach. I am also glad to know that SiTF is working with IDA to explore the setting up of a Productivity & Productisation Programme Office to provide assistance to local infocomm enterprises to transform their business.
Creativity and Innovation
10. While funding and training schemes are important, creativity and innovation remain key to staying relevant and competitive in today's digital environment. I understand that the biennial National Infocomm Awards 2012,organised by IDA and SiTF, is now open for nominations. In 2010, we saw Ephone International's EPI Life clinching the Most Innovative Infocomm Product/Service award - this consumer device combines mobile phone functionality with a health monitor and the capabilities of an electrocardiogram machine. A game changer in the timely detection of heart diseases, I am happy to note that the device has since made a successful foray into overseas markets.
11. I would like to encourage all companies to participate in the industry's highest accolade for infocomm innovation in Singapore. I am sure there will be no shortage of companies and projects vying for the Awards this year.
12. There remain wondrous opportunities for growth in the ICT and digital media sectors and I urge everyone to tap on the opportunities available. May I also wish all of you a fruitful and rewarding session over the next two days.
13. It now gives me great pleasure to declare the SiTF Asia Pacific ICT Summit open.
14. Thank you.