26 June 2008 - Address By Mr Leong Keng Thai, Deputy Chief Executive & Director-General (Telecoms & Post), Infocomm Development Authority Of Singapore, As Guest Of Honour At Imagine Cup And Splash Awards Ceremony, NTUC Auditorium, NTUC Centre
Address By Mr Leong Keng Thai, Deputy Chief Executive & Director-General (Telecoms & Post), Infocomm Development Authority Of Singapore, As Guest Of Honour At Imagine Cup And Splash Awards Ceremony, On Thursday, 26 June 2008, 3.55PM, NTUC Auditorium, NTUC Centre
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
1. First, I would like to congratulate the Splash Awards and Imagine Cup winners. I understand that the National Winners of the Imagine Cup will be going on to Paris in July to represent Singapore to compete with players from over a hundred countries. That is indeed good news. I hope it will motivate you to look beyond this competition and to consider infocomm as your long-term career choice.
2. The infocomm industry did well last year. Singapore has a vibrant infocomm sector where multi national companies (MNCs) and local infocomm enterprises co-exist in an ecosystem of knowledge and R&D exchange. The range of businesses and activities undertaken by companies are wide, ranging from innovation centres, development centres, to sales and marketing offices. According to the IDA Annual Survey on Infocomm Industry for 2007 released last week, the industry saw a double-digit growth of 13.8 per cent to reach S$51.68 billion in revenues, up from S$45.4 billion in 2006.
3. The infocomm employment rate also achieved a new high - an 8.9 percent growth, reaching 130,400 employed in 2007, according to the latest IDA Infocomm Manpower Survey. This means that there is a variety in job scope in demand, such as technology research and development (R&D), digital media, web development, infocomm security, infocomm consultancy and project management, to name a few.
Heading Towards An Intelligent Nation, Powered By Infocomm
4. To sustain the infocomm industry's growth, so that prospects continue to be bright for those considering an infocomm career, IDA will be launching several new initiatives under the nation's 10-year Intelligent Nation (iN2015) masterplan. These new programmes will transform Singapore's key economic sectors by enhancing the capabilities of businesses and bringing innovative services to consumers.
5. For example, we will be launching a Next Generation wired and wireless network that will spur a slew of innovative services that everyone can enjoy. In the last 12 months, we have also done much groundwork to lay the foundation to enhance our infocomm infrastructure. As you may know, the national Wi-Fi network, Wireless@SG, launched in December 2006, has almost 7,200 hotspots now throughout the country, and some 850,000 registered users today. Wireless@SG is helping to transform the way we live, learn, work and play. It is common to see people accessing the network at public places like cafes, food courts and community clubs, to work, check e-mails, or even do their Internet banking. Businesses can also leverage this network for greater efficiencies, such as through the use of wireless point-of-sale devices.
6. What these initiatives mean is that, there can only be increased demand for infocomm professionals and techno-prenuers. You could be one of them, developing a myriad of Next Generation services to be offered.
7. Bringing your dream further, you could be setting up your own online games business and leveraging on the Digital Marketplace Programme which IDA launched last week. Singapore will become a trusted and conducive environment for digital media and entertainment businesses. It will be a hub to manage, distribute and trade digital media assets such as libraries of movies, video programmes, music and mobile content.
Infocomm Manpower Shaping The Future
8. As Singapore continues to develop our infocomm infrastructure to sustain our economic competitiveness in the global economy, it is critical that we continue to have a pool of high quality infocomm professionals. There is a noticeable shift in employed infocomm manpower where the skills needed of infocomm professionals today are not the same as those required three to five years ago.
9. There is increasing demand for infocomm professionals with business and management skills over and above handling technical responsibilities. Those who possess strong technical skills and industry domain knowledge are much sought after. The next generation of infocomm professionals must be able to create and deliver innovative products, services and solutions primed to the needs of different business environments, and drive the economic competitiveness of various industry sectors.
10. For those of you who are looking at a career in infocomm, I strongly urge you to continually innovate and add value by keeping yourselves updated on developments in infocomm technology and practices. The industry has a lot more space for development beyond what I have just shared with you.
11. On this note, I would like to thank all the participants in this year's competitions and to congratulate the Singapore Computer Society and Microsoft for yet another successful event.
12. I am confident that Singapore's infocomm industry will continue to be vibrant and thrive. The future is infocomm and you can develop your skills and become a player in the infocomm industry. Together, let us work towards the vision of an Intelligent Nation, a Global City, Powered by Infocomm.
13. Thank you.