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Strategies for a Thriving Infocomm Industry

Lam Chuan Leong, Chairman, IDA Singapore - Speech COMDEX / Asia 2001 Opening Ceremony, Suntec Singapore

Lam Chuan Leong, Chairman, IDA Singapore - Speech
COMDEX / Asia 2001 Opening Ceremony, Suntec Singapore

Singapore, 10 April 2001

Mr. Willie Cheng, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good Morning.

1 A year ago, the Minister for Communications and IT, Mr. Yeo Cheow Tong outlined our ministry's strategies to position Singapore as a dynamic and vibrant Infocomm Capital with a thriving and successful Internet economy.

2 These strategies included:

Jumpstarting the Interactive Broadband Multimedia industry in Singapore. This has resulted in open access to SingTel's broadband infrastructure, thus allowing other players to offer broadband services and provide consumers with greater flexibility and freedom of choice.

3 The minister also said that the infocomm industry would build new capabilities needed for the new Internet economy. To help local enterprises, IDA would expand the scope of the highly successful Infocomm Local Industry Upgrading Programme (iLIUP). Besides working with the global technology players, IDA would involve other partners such as venture capitalists, patent lawyers, and financial and business consultants. The target was to have 200 local enterprises participating actively in the enhanced iLIUP programme by end of 2002. One year ago, over 70 companies were participating in the programme; today the programme has over 120 active partners.

4 Another thrust was to foster strategic alliances with overseas partners to help our local companies tap foreign resources and gain access to overseas markets.

5 I'm happy to say that in the year that has passed since that announcement, the Infocomm industry has made significant progress.

6 Initiatives such as the government's provision of a $150 million package to stimulate the growth of interactive broadband content and services have resulted in the implementation of an open access policy for ADSL and increased the number of broadband access providers. Broadband users have increased from 100,000 in 1999 to 274,000 in December 2000. Currently, we have more than 300 broadband players, including access, hosting, technology, content and service providers such as Magix, 1-Net, PlanetMG, Woof!, Ednovation and Pandora, and international companies like Speedcast, Madge.Web and Speedera. This represents a significant increase from 200 participants in 1999.

7 Our International Content Hosting Scheme was launched to attract more international and regional content providers to host or hub their content in Singapore. Efforts to bring together local, regional and global content players have seen over 12 overseas partners coming on board Singapore ONE.

8 The maturing of the broadband sector and recognition of its importance have led to industry driven initiatives such as the formation of the Broadband Media Association. Such developments are encouraging as they signal the desire and capability of our industry players to take a leadership role in the development and propagation of the broadband sector in Singapore.

9 As part of our continuing efforts to develop e-commerce and leverage innovation, the ASP Alliance Chapter was formed. A joint effort between the Singapore IT Federation and ASP Alliance Executive Committee, the Chapter aims to develop and promote the Application Service Provider industry in Singapore and educate and raise awareness of ASPs among local enterprises.

10 The ASP Competency Centre was established, through which Nanyang Technological University and Sun Microsystems jointly assist ASPs and Internet Data Centres by providing test beds for start-ups and consultancies for ASPs. The Centre also provides auditing and certification services to ASPs.

11 Last month, infocomm industry players joined forces to boost online security through the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Forum Singapore. This serves as the key platform to spur PKI adoption in the local E-Commerce environment and promote technologies and services for secure Internet payments.

12 In anticipation of 3G mobile services and to spur growth in the wireless sector, the Wired With Wireless Programme was launched last year. It focuses on 3 key areas - wireless multimedia, location services and M-commerce.

13 In February this year, we announced the Writing Down Allowance for approved intellectual properties. This is in keeping with our aim to encourage innovative product and solution development, which contributes to a vibrant, knowledge based economy.

14 The jointly piloted Proof of Concept Internet Home in public housing is an excellent case study of government industry collaboration. The aim of the pilot project between CISCO, the ASP Net Centre, SingTel Aeradio and IDA is to understand how we can proliferate the e-lifestyle for Singaporeans.

15 As for strategic partnerships and overseas alliances, one key example is that between Nanyang Technological University and the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras. Another example is the NTU and CISCO collaboration to establish the CISCO Academy Training Centre. To date, 11,000 ASEAN students have been trained at the Training Centre with 2,000 from Singapore alone.

16 As for today's event, the Singapore IT Federation, as well as Times Conferences & Exhibitions and Key3Media Events, deserve our praise for organising this world-class show of high-calibre IT and communications applications. COMDEX / Asia's offering of the latest in products and solutions, including platform alternatives, networking technologies, e-commerce and digital media innovations, and information appliances, will help propel the industry forward. By showcasing emerging technologies, it will generate a great amount of enthusiasm, as well as a wealth of opportunities for industry partnerships and growth.

17 I would like therefore to wish all of you a very successful show this year.

Thank you.