Be aware of scammers impersonating as IMDA officers and report any suspicious calls to the police. Please note that IMDA officers will never call you nor request for your personal information. For scam-related advice, please call the Anti-Scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to

Official Opening Ceremony of Infocomm Section of The Consulate-General of the Republic of Singapore

Speech by Mr Leong Keng Thai, Deputy Chief Executive/Director-General (Telecom), Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore in Shanghai

Speech by Mr Leong Keng Thai, Deputy Chief Executive/Director-General (Telecom), Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore in Shanghai on 25 July 2002

His Excellency Consul General Ong Lu King,
Deputy Director-General, Mr. He Shouchang
Deputy Director-General, Mr. Le Zhenkun
Distinguished guests, friends from the media, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.

1. First, may I say that the Infocomm Development Authority, or IDA, of Singapore is very pleased to be here today to witness the official opening of the Infocomm Section of the Consulate-General of the Republic of Singapore. The Infocomm Section will be representing IDA Singapore in China to promote and facilitate bilateral exchange and collaboration between the infocomm industries of the two countries. It is our hope that Singapore and our infocomm companies will play a more active role in contributing to China's informatization process and its economic development.

2. Many of you here today may have worked with IDA Singapore in one way or another. Allow me to elaborate on IDA's roles and functions. IDA is a statutory board under the purview of Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts in Singapore. We are charged with the mission to facilitate and promote the growth of Singapore into a global infocomm hub. In this respect, we have 4 major roles.

3. Firstly, as a regulator, IDA formulates clear and transparent policies to ensure a level playing field among the many telco and Infocomm players in the highly competitive, liberalized Singapore market.

4. Secondly, as a developer, IDA works closely with private sector organizations and companies to develop the Infocomm industry. This includes encouraging collaboration between Singapore and international companies in areas such as technology research and business partnerships.

5. Thirdlly, as a promoter, IDA encourages Singaporeans our citizens to make full use of technology in their daily lives. Be it filing their taxes or shopping for groceries, they can easily access these services from the internet from the comfort of their homes.

6. Last but not least, as the Government Chief Information Officer, IDA spearheads the development and implementation of e-Government initiatives in Singapore.

7. At IDA, we recognise that businesses today cut across geographical barriers and national boundaries. The emerging global market place means that countries can no function as separate, individual markets from one another. As the fastest developing region in the world, Asia's challenge is to face the fierce competition in the global market. The American countries have formed the Free Trade Areas of the Americas to help the region become more competitive as a union market. There is also the European Union with the same motivation. Similarly, Asia also needs to compete in the world as a more united market. We need to be able to overcome geographic barriers and national boundaries to facilitate the growth of this region as a whole. We need a Connected Asia in which capital, ideas and human resource can flow freely from one country to another, and innovation and creativity will flourish. This in turn will spur businesses and partnerships among countries in the region.

8. Through the Infocomm Section under the Consulate-General of the Republic of Singapore, IDA aims to foster infocomm exchange and partnerships between Singapore and China both on the government and business levels. We would like to continue working with local infocomm businesses, associations and societies in China to allow the sharing of experience and expertise from both countries. IDA will also lend its resources to facilitate networking of Chinese and Singaporean infocomm companies beyond China and Singapore.

9. China is the fastest growing economy in the region and the world, and with the WTO ascension, China's role in the world economy will become more and more important. During APEC, CIAPR and many other occasions, China has been reiterating the importance of informatization and regional cooperation to its economic development. Indisputably, development in information technology will greatly benefit China's economic growth. An informatized and highly connected China will not only vitalize its own economy, but also greatly benefit the growth of the region's economy.

10. Singapore has embarked on informatization and e-government since the 1980s. Today, it is a highly connected country with direct international telecommunication links to more than 100 countries. Our broadband infrastructure allows international connectivity to over 30 countries, and internally provides broadband access to 99% of homes, schools and businesses. The internet dial-up subscribers account for more than 47% of the population, with 64% of households owning personal computers. And the mobile penetration rate is over 73%. On the e-Government front, our people can enjoy more than 70% of government services online anywhere, any time. The World Teleport Association (WTA) has named Singapore, along with Seoul and Bangalore, as among the Top 7 Intelligent Communities in the World for 2002 The seven communities were selected based on criteria established by WTA's Intelligent Community Forum to measure the progress of communities worldwide in developing broadband-based economies that will prosper in the Digital Age. Singapore appeared on the list for the second consecutive year. A profile of the Top Seven is available from the ICF Web site at .

11. We hope to share our experience and also contribute to China's growth. At the same time, we can learn and benefit a lot from collaborating with China. Singapore and China have always enjoyed a good relationship as a result of cultural and language affinities. In the Infocomm arena, there have been many active exchanges. Early this year, IDA facilitated the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with 10 top universities in China to jointly develop IT talents. In June, a Singapore infocomm company mission organized by IDA, visited Shanghai to explore collaboration opportunities in China. With the official opening of the Infocomm Section, we look forward to more such exchanges and collaborations.

12. Thank you.