Mr Michael Yap, Chief Executive National Computer Board Speech - Commerce Exchange Press Launch

Mr Michael Yap, Chief Executive
National Computer Board
Speech - Commerce Exchange Press Launch
Singapore, 11 May 1999

1. Good afternoon, I am pleased to be at this afternoon's company and service launch of Commerce Exchange. This augurs well for Singapore's aspirations to be a global electronic commerce (EC) hub.

2. It is well known that e-commerce can offer cost reduction and dramatically widen market access. But more importantly, e-commerce is about new ways of doing business. It is about re-engineering business processes and creating new business models. In today's Straits Times there was an article on General Electric's e-commerce strategy. Even the 107-year old company like GE, which started in the days of the industrial revolution, is compelled to embrace EC. And, their Chairman John Welch Jr. aptly brought home the point by calling their e-commerce strategy - the 'DestroyYourBusiness. com' strategy. At GE, they are acknowledging the fact that they cannot afford to ignore how e-commerce and the Internet will profoundly change the way they sell and distribute their products, if they want to remain in business.

3. EC is also re-defining the way customers are being served. In the case of Dell Computer, they have very successful exploited EC to revolutionise how they retail. Today, Dell Computer sells directly to the customers all over the world, PCs which are specifically customised according to the customers' preferences - the concept of mass customisation. In other words, Dell will only produce the computers after the customers have determined what they want.

4. It has become increasingly obvious that if our local companies want to compete in the highly competitive global market, they must move quickly to embrace as an important component of their businesses.

5. Commerce Exchange's end-to-end procurement service, integrating purchasing, payment, web-hosting and a whole host of workflow and monitoring processes, reflects the increasing sophistication of the EC platforms being offered to businesses.

6. I see services like this playing an important role to facilitate Singapore companies get on to EC quickly, inexpensively and without too much effort. In a recent NCB survey, the small and medium enterprises, in particular, have cited initial start-up and on-going operational costs as factors deterring them from adopting EC.

7. Today, we only have 4% of 62,000 active companies which are e-commerce ready. Our target is to have 20% of Singapore companies adopting EC in the next two years and 50% by year 2003. The opportunities for service providers like Commerce Exchange are tremendous.

8. I would also like to take this opportunity to express my pleasure that Visa has chosen to use Singapore as the launch pad for its global e-commerce hub. Clearly, this augurs well for Singapore as we establish ourselves as a global e-commerce hub.

9. Finally, I wish everyone involved in Commerce Exchange, all the best.