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IDA and Industry Leaders Share Perspectives on Future Developments of the Infocomm Industry in Singapore


The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) organised its second Infocomm 211 Leadership Dialogue today at Suntec Convention, Singapore. The Leadership Dialogue sought perspectives from ... 

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) organised its second Infocomm 211 Leadership Dialogue today at Suntec Convention, Singapore. The Leadership Dialogue sought perspectives from industry leaders on the future developments of the Infocomm industry in Singapore.

A high-level industry panel (Refer to Annex A), chaired by Mr Hsieh Tsun-Yan, Managing Director (South East Asia), McKinsey and Co Singapore Pte Ltd, shared their insights, as well as sought inputs from participants on new growth opportunities in Infocomm. The panel, consisting of a cross-section of leading Infocomm industry players, also exchanged views with participants on challenges and critical success factors for sustaining long-term Infocomm growth and industry competitiveness in Singapore.

The session started off with the panelists sharing their respective business growth strategies focused mainly on understanding market needs, concentrating on niches, building sound business models, developing core competencies, and leveraging on strategic partnerships with global or local players. The panelists also highlighted opportunities in the Infocomm sector in areas such as people-content communications on mobile devices, new mobile Internet offerings such as NTT DoCoMo's iMode, new IT-based services in vertical business domains, integrated personalised online services, and niche IT applications such as for the insurance industry.

The discussion also agreed that despite its size, Singapore remained an excellent location for businesses and is a viable test-bed for technologies and applications with its technology-savvy population and Internet pervasiveness. The concept of 'Connected Island' was also discussed in looking beyond Singapore for business expansion and growth. Just as Singapore concentrated on wiring the nation internally to be an 'Intelligent Island', it now has to go through the next phase of transforming itself into a 'Connected Island' that links Singapore to the rest of the world, not only economically, but also socially and culturally. The challenge is how to create compelling value propositions for other countries to want to connect to Singapore. This may involve a mindset change and accelerated pace of innovation among businesses and a re-look at the role of the government.

In concluding the session, Mr Hsieh Tsun-yan, Managing Director, Southeast Asia, McKinsey & Company Singapore, Pte Ltd, and Chairman of the 2nd Infocomm 21 Leadership Dialogue panel discussion, said, "There is no question that Singapore is well on its way to becoming a Connected Island. However, the implementation is critical because we must make the citizenry see the value in connecting economically to the rest of the world. As for businesses, developments in Infocomm markets far out-pace the ability of organisations to change. In this light, businesses must be more proactive and adopt an innovation mindset. At the same time, they can also come forward to play a larger role in promoting the concept of Connected Island with the support of the Government."

Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Information, Communications & the Arts, who is also Chairman of the Economic Review Committee's Sub-committee on Service Industries2, graced the event as Guest-of-Honour. Mr Khaw said, "It is timely that this Infocomm 21 dialogue is organised as it would offer feedback to the ERC on the Infocomm industry, which is one of the key growth areas. We have achieved a lot in a short time. But what more do we need to do, to make it an important economic pillar? What more do we need to do to transform Singapore into a Connected Island? Inputs from today's dialogue will prove useful in re-defining some of the strategies we can engage to make Singapore a Connected Island, while steering into the next phase of its economic growth."

At this morning's session, Mr Leong Keng Thai, Acting CEO/ Director-General (Telecoms), IDA Singapore, presented a status update of the achievements of the Infocomm 21, since its launch in December 2000, as well as its future directions. He said, "IDA is encouraged by the strong support of industry players who offered their thought leadership at the Infocomm 21 Leadership Dialogue. This would help to ensure that Infocomm 21 continues to be relevant. Under the Infocomm 21 initiative, we also look forward to working with industry players to establish Singapore's technology leadership at the third Infocomm Technology Roadmap Symposium3 to be held tomorrow. Without a doubt, IDA's partnership with the industry will go a long way in developing Singapore into a premier Infocomm capital."

The following issues were raised at the session earlier today:

Opening Address
by Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Information, Communications & The Arts

Infocomm 21 Presentation: Current Achievements and Future Directions
by Mr Leong Keng Thai, Acting CEO/ Director-General (Telecoms), Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

Keynote Address: The Future of Singapore's Infocomm Sector
by BG (NS) Lee Hsien Yang, President and Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Telecommunications Ltd


Notes to Editor :

1 Infocomm 21 is IDA's strategic blueprint for the New Economy. Implemented in 2000, Infocomm 21 strives to move Singapore into the ranks of 'first world economies' of the Net age. It aims to harness information communication technologies for national competitiveness and to improve on Singapore's quality of life. The blueprint articulates the vision, goal and strategies that guide and assist the development of Singapore's Infocomm industry over the next five years. More information on Infocomm 21 can be obtained at under 'Infocomm 21'.

2 In October 2001, Minister Goh Chok Tong announced the establishment of the Economic Review Committee (ERC) to fundamentally review Singapore's development strategy and formulate a blueprint to restructure the economy, even as the country works to ride out the current recession. 7 sub-committees have been set up, one for each term of reference, to review the specific issues in greater detail and seek views from the public. The sub-committees are chaired by ERC members and involve further representation from both the private and public sectors, so as to achieve wider participation in the Committee's work.

The Sub-Committee on Service Industries, chaired by Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Information, Communications & the Arts, include working groups on: ICT, Education Services, Healthcare Services, Tourism, Financial Services, Trading, Logistics and Engineering Services and Legal Services. More information on the ERC and its Sub-Committees can be found at

3 The Infocomm Technology Roadmap Symposium, facilitated by IDA, identifies future Infocomm trends with the participation of organisations from the Infocomm industry and research community in Singapore. The 3rd Infocomm Technology Roadmap Symposium will be held on 28 February 2002 at Suntec Singapore. It will focus on Next Generation Network Capabilities, specifically Optical Networking, Photonics, and Next Generation Internet Applications.

About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is a dynamic organisation with an integrated perspective to developing, promoting and regulating info-communications in Singapore. In the fast-changing and converging spheres of telecommunications, information and media technologies, IDA will be the catalyst for change and growth in Singapore's evolution into a vibrant global info-communications technology centre. For more information, please visit

For media clarification, please contact:

Ms Ho Hwei Ling
Senior Manager, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: +65 6211-1996
Fax: +65 6211-2227

Ms Cindy Kong
Assistant Manager, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: +65 211-1997
Fax: +65 211-2227

No. Name Designation Company
1 Hsieh Tsun-Yan (Chairman) Managing Director (South East Asia) McKinsey and Co Singapore Pte Ltd
2 Claes Odman President Ericsson Telecommunications Pte Ltd
3 Voytek K. Siewierski Executive Director NTT Docomo Global Business Group
4 Stephen Yeo President and CEO Singapore Computer Systems Ltd
5 Foong Wai Keong Co-founder, President and CEO Ecquaria Ltd
6 Suresh Prabhu Chairman Apex Systems Pte Ltd