Your Excellencies,

Mr Paul Beh,
President, Asia Pacific, Reed Exhibitions,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

1           Good morning. It gives me great pleasure to welcome all participants to this year’s Asia Media Festival, or AMF in short.

About Asia Media Fe​stival and Asia Television Forum

2         Hosted by the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA), AMF provides an important platform for the global media industry to forge business networks and explore collaborations and opportunities.

3         Today also marks the official opening of the Asia Television Forum (ATF) 2009. ATF, the anchor event of AMF, is a TV programming platform for international television programme sellers to meet Asian buyers and partners. Into its 10th edition, ATF has successfully positioned itself as Asia’s leading content market.

4         Last year, ATF 2008 witnessed a 15 percent increase in industry participation with a total of US 74 million dollars worth of deals secured. This year’s ATF has seen an additional 8 per cent growth in overall participation with an estimated 4,000 broadcasters, distributors, buyers, sellers, financiers and producers. Out of 358 companies participating as sellers, 139 of them are new. On participation by buyers, we have seen a 5% increase to 312 companies out of which 62 are new to the ATF. These positive indicators reflect Asia’s resilience in the face of the global downturn and ATF’s growing influence in the broadcast market.

Outlook for the Global Medi​​​a Industry

5         Despite the global economic slowdown, Asia’s media industry is in for an exciting phase. We have witnessed continuous growth in media consumption within the region. According to the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia, subscriptions for TV services in the Asia-Pacific region currently stands at 326 million, an increase of 35 million homes from 2008.

6         Given the relatively stronger economies in Asia, Western producers know they have to pay even more attention to Asia in search of opportunities, fresh ideas, capital and markets. With a noticeable increase in collaborations in the areas of film and television co-productions, the importance of Asia as a market and its influence on global media productions is stronger than ever before.

International Collaborations and C​o-Productions

7         International co-productions will increasingly play a larger part in the growth of Singapore’s media industry.In 2009, our television co-productions with industry players have grown to more than $10 million. What paved the way for these international co-productions are the government-to-government relations that Singapore has forged with our international cou nterparts. To date, Singapore has signed 20 media cooperation MOUs with key media government agencies and entered into bilateral co-production treaties with Australia, New Zealand, Korea and Canada. More than ten official co-production projects have resulted from these bilateral co-production treaties.

8         For example, ST Electronics (Training &Simulation Systems)’s joint production with Canadian animation studio Nelvana Limited.  This resulted in Jane and the Dragon, the first Singaporean co-produced 3D animated TV series to be broadcast in the US and Germany. Another co-production, Dinosaur Train, a collaboration between Sparky Animation and The Jim Henson Company went on to become one of the best-received series on PBS Kids in the United States.

9         We see more international co-productions using Singapore capabilities to produce high quality TV programmes. The last ATF saw the launch of a new distribution company in Singapore called FCCE Asia Pacific. Yesterday, FCCE Asia Pacific shared that they are working on a multi-media production called Films &Stars Asia. This is the first of its kind, showcasing Asia’s vibrant entertainment industry. It is expected to be distributed to more than 70 countries.

10        Taking a look at the Asian region, we see that bilateral media relations between Singapore and China enterprises have developed significantly. We have close collaboration in areas such as TV and film production, manpower training and new media.  The latest is an agreement between Singapore’s MyChinaChannel and Shanghai Media Group's distribution arm, Wings Media, to co-produce two infotainment television series for the global market. MyChinaChannel has also signed a MOU with SMG Wings Media to jointly aggregate the best Chinese Drama and Movies for distribution outside of China.

11        Further afield, I am also pleased to announce a new co-production initiative between the MDA and South West Screen from the UK. This initiative, with the support of the United Kingdom Trade and Investment, calls upon production and digital media companies of both countries, to co-develop concepts with multi-platform potential and cross-media elements. This is the first of what we hope to be a number of such initiatives with the UK.

Launch of WIPO’s Expedited Arbitrat​ion Scheme for Film and Media Disputes

12        As companies increasingly collaborate with international counterparts to create new content driven by fresh and orginal ideas, we must be mindful that there is potential for misunderstanding and disputes. Earlier in July, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of Law and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) for the establishment of the Singapore Office of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center. This will officially open in January 2010. As a result of that MOU, I am pleased to announce the launch of WIPO’s Expedited Arbitration Scheme, for Film and Media Disputes. The scheme provides for tailored services with specialist mediators, and arbitrators with media expertise beneficial to businesses.

13       With WIPO’s expertise in the area of intellectual property disputes, this scheme will provide businesses with an unbiased avenue to resolve disputes in these specialised areas. WIPO’s decision to launch the Scheme at ATF in Singapore also underscores its confidence in our strong intellectual property rights protection regime.

The Future o​​f Media

14        While content is important, we are mindful that new platforms for content distribution have been emerging. The media landscape has been altered by the pace of digital technology, with new entertainment and information platforms unleashed for consumers. In Singapore, we see opportunities in the digital media space to nurture growth as we roll out new categories of licences such as niche TV licences. This will enable consumers to enjoy a wider range of media choices including on-demand Internet-Protocol TV (IPTV) content.

15        To date, we have 11 IPTV niche licence providers;the latest addition being Zii Private Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Creative Technology Limited. Zii Private Limited will provide paid and subscription based services such as IPTV and other new media solutions via its media-rich Zii Platform, enhancing media choices for consumers.

16        In line with the advancement of technologies and the adoption of digital media, Singapore has taken steps to promote the early adoption of 3D. This will encourage international media producers and businesses to use Singapore as a test-bed to innovate and deploy their services, and make Singapore a vital component of the global digital media industry. In fact, the Singapore Pavilion at this year’s ATF will showcase Singapore’s capabilities for end-to-end production of 3D content.


17        The AMF 2009 and the ATF promise to be exciting and captivating events. I thank all participants for your continued support and trust that you will have a professionally enriching time. To all overseas delegates, I wish you a pleasant and enjoyable stay in Singapore.

18        Thank you.


Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023