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Ingite Asia Challenge - Recognising Innovative Talents in Asia

Wong Wai Kheong, E-Business Development Director, IDA Singapore - Speech Final IgniteAsia Singapore Conference, Raffles City Convention Centre

Wong Wai Kheong, E-Business Development Director, IDA Singapore - Speech
Final IgniteAsia Singapore Conference, Raffles City Convention Centre
Singapore, 8 February 2001


1 I am glad to be here at the Ignite Asia Challenge organised by the Quintus Group.

2 The second geographical event held in Singapore tonight covers the South Asia Leg of this region. This competition serves to encourage innovative Internet business ideas, creativity, technopreneurship and also to look out for the talent that may not have surfaced just as yet. While IDA's thrust is to create a vibrant startup community in Singapore. We hope that through this event, it will provide an excellent platform for startups to exchange ideas with market players and professionals and to form strategic alliances. We are pleased to have strong support from the various industry players, such as the venture capitalists, angels, investors, technopreneurs, businessmen and technology providers amongst our presence tonight.

3 According to development in the US, the dotcoms saw almost 90 per cent wiped off their value last year as investor jitters hit the bubble economy. On the average, the dotcom value has dropped more than 80 percent in year 2000. How and what do all these implication mean to the venture capitalists? What are the views for venture capital today?

4 It is true that venture investments slowed considerably during the fourth quarter of 2000 but there is good news. But there is good news on the other side of the coin. Many more billions were raised last year and money still needs to find a home. Although investments in 2001 would not reach the $100 billion figure, according to VentureWire, a news service that tracks VC investments, startups will still be funded provided business concept is viable and concrete : "Good companies do not grow overnight".

5 There has been a significant increase in the number of broadband entrants and we believe that this is a sign of the coming of times. The broadband scene in Singapore and Asia has been very vibrant and exciting. Figures released by IDA in September last year indicated that there are a quarter of a million broadband users on its Singapore ONE network, exceedingly the original target set and broadband take-up rate is expected to further increase. Another study by Gartner Dataquest also demonstrated similar sentiments. The study indicated that by the end of 2004, Asia Pacific will garnered around 35 million high-speed subscribers. We expect the growth to continue if not accelerate.

6 IDA has always recognized the importance of developing broadband capabilities. In April last year, we have announced S$150 million to jumpstart the Interactive Broadband Multimedia industry. We already have got a well- developed broadband infrastructure called Singapore ONE. This serves as a platform for companies to develop compelling interactive broadband multimedia applications and services. Our Singapore ONE broadband infrastructure covers 99% islandwide and is made available to businesses and consumers through Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL), cable modems, wireless and fiber to the curb.

7 On top of this, we have also been helping industry players, both start-ups and established corporations to reach out to the regional and international market through leveraging on our well-connected regional information infrastructure as well as various marketing and promotional initiatives. Some of these activities include overseas mission trips, participation in targeted broadband events and exhibitions. We believe that the next wave of growth for broadband will involve companies with regional and international linkages and capabilities. We will also like to see this growing trend and rapid development in Singapore.

8 The IgniteAsia Singapore Broadband Award aims to encourage and attract enterprising individuals in Asia to exploit the potential of infocomm technology and broadband multimedia capabilities. The winner will receive a minimum of six months hosting package of their content or applications on Singapore ONE. The winning entrant will also get to participate in various marketing and promotional activities for broadband organised by the IDA.


9 The tone of e-commerce commentary will shift in year 2001, as the cynicism of the last half of year 2000 changes into tempered optimism. In the coming months, e-commerce watchers will begin to chronicle the early successes of emerging business-to-business (B2B) leaders. Amongst the vast majority of companies that were conducting e-commerce, B2B e-commerce activity still remained primarily the domain of early technology adopters, while the mainstream businesses focused upon developing ec strategies and evaluating internet-based technology.

10 Last but not least, as e-commerce activity increases, many businesses will be upgrading to faster access speeds in order to accommodate the greater demand for bandwidth and to enhance business communications and processes. So, why are we still waiting, come jump on board the bandwagon today and seize the opportunity that is available in the e-economy to make your dreams come true.

11 Thank you.