22 May 2007 - Speech By Mr Leong Keng Thai, Deputy Chief Executive & Director-General (Telecoms), Infocomm Development Authority Of Singapore At the Launch of the National Infocomm Competition 2007, Singapore Management University.
Speech By Mr Leong Keng Thai, Deputy Chief Executive & Director-General (Telecoms), Infocomm Development Authority Of Singapore At the Launch of the National Infocomm Competition 2007 on 22 May 2007, Singapore Management University.
Ladies and gentlemen
A very good afternoon
1. I am very pleased to be here today to launch the National Infocomm Competition 2007. This is the second year of the competition. Last year, we saw the participation of more than 2000 students from some 100 schools.
2. I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to last year’s winners who received their prizes at the National Infocomm Competition awards ceremony held in March this year. The champions of the three circuits will be going for their trip to Seattle to visit Microsoft’s Redmond campus next month. They will also have the opportunity of meeting Bill Gates.
3. This year, with three new challenges and $300,000 worth of prizes in store, I hope many more schools and students will come on board, and compete for the fabulous prizes in this prestigious infocomm competition.
Singapore’s Infocomm Industry Abuzz with Cheer
4. Today, Singapore is seeing increasing success from our efforts in promoting Singapore as an infocomm hub. For example, we have more infocomm giants setting up regional offices in Singapore. Firstly, Google announced its plan to set up a research & development centre here in February this year. This was followed by the opening of their regional office here earlier this month.
5. Similarly, Lucasfilm has also revealed their plans to set up office in Singapore in the near future. The digital media heavyweight's studio in Singapore is its first outside the United States. Once again, this reiterates the confidence that infocomm MNCs have in Singapore’s position as a technology hub. Another internet giant, Yahoo, is also keen to expand its operations in Singapore. In fact, it plans to more than double its staff there as it looks into developing the Singapore office into a regional hub. All these mean that the infocomm industry will be full of opportunities for aspiring infocomm professionals.
6. There will be even more buzz in the infocomm industry with the Government pushing ahead with plans to ensure that all Singaporeans can leverage on infocomm to embrace a digital lifestyle. Some of you may be aware of the next big broadband wave that we are embarking on. Last year, IDA announced plans for the Next-Generation National Broadband Network. This will increase broadband speeds ultimately to 1Gbps or beyond, more than 200 times faster than what is commonly used today. The speedier access will allow large video files, even high-definition ones to zip through networks, and make online connections more seamless and without lag. On the wireless front, operators have deployed some 2,800 wireless hotspots to date and have more than 400,000 subscribers on Wireless@SG since its launch in December last year.
The Future is Bright for Infocomm
7. What is more important is that with the “state of the art” infrastructure coming our way, there are lots of innovations and possibilities that can be enabled. Recent articles in the Straits Times have reported higher salaries for infocomm professionals in Singapore. In addition, the infocomm industry has put in a sterling performance. Its revenue grew from $38 billion in 2005 to cross the $40 billion mark for the first time in 2006. Such growth can only spell more job opportunities for aspiring infocomm professionals like you. We would like you to make infocomm your career choice.
8. I would like to thank all the organisers of the challenges, namely all the universities, polytechnics, ITE, Singapore Computer Society, Singapore Science Centre, Singapore Institute of Management, SUN Microsystems and the Ministry of Education. Your support and partnership with IDA is important to the success of the National Infocomm Competition.
9. Before I hand over to Harin who will share more about the competition, let me wish all of you an exciting and fun journey in participating in the various challenges of the National Infocomm Competition 2007.
10. Thank you.