Speech By Dr Lee Boon Yang at the Singapore Season Welcome Home Reception, Arts House


Good morning. It is my pleasure to be here today to officiate at the Opening Ceremony of Ideas! Asia 2005.

The New Global Landscape and The Creative Economy

2.      The theme of this year's conference is "Succeeding in the New World of Marketing". I am sure that this resonates with many of you and that you are here today because you are well aware that the global environment is changing rapidly and as marketing professionals, recognize the critical need to be updated of the latest developments in the world of marketing to chart new directions and strategies for you and your clients.

3.      This theme is one that resonates with Singapore too. It is not just the world of marketing where the boundaries and rules are changing rapidly. The world is shifting from the industrial age to the creative, knowledge-led economy and the factors of success in the past may no longer be valid. In 2003, the Economic Review Committee recognized this and identified 3 new and promising service sectors to grow and develop Singapore into a diversified, globalised and entrepreneurial economy. The Creative Industries, comprising the distinct but strongly interlocked arts, design and media sectors, was one of these. This cluster of industries has been recognized as a key driver of economies in UK, South Korea and Japan and a recent report by the United Nations in June 2004 estimates that the global market value of the Creative Industries will grow to US$1.3 trillion in 2005.

The Creative Industries Development Strategy

4.      Therefore, the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts and her agencies are spearheading the Creative Industries Development Strategy, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and private and people partners. We have allocated more than S$200 million over five years to implement the three-pronged strategy that comprises DesignSingapore, Media 21 and the Renaissance City Project 2.0. The DesignSingapore Council was set up in August 2003 to promote design excellence and develop a vibrant design cluster in Singapore. Media 21 was launched in July 2003 and aims to develop Singapore into a Global Media City. Under the Renaissance City Project 2.0, the National Arts Council is adopting a cluster approach to develop the performing, visual and literary arts. We hope to double the contribution of these sectors to 6% in 2012.

More importantly, through the Creative Industries, we seek to unleash the creative energy of our people to create new ideas, innovations and enterprises.

Marketing Singapore's Creativity

5.      You are a key part of this cluster of industries. Creative and effective marketing and communications very often decide the success of creative ideas, innovations and enterprises in the marketplace. We recognize this too and have explored and initiated new creative solutions to market and profile Singapore's creative side.

6.      Just recently, my Ministry spearheaded Singapore Season in London which featured a multi-faceted string of arts programmes presented by the National Arts Council. These included presentations by Singaporean artists and arts groups such as theatre director Ong Keng Sen and Theatreworks, the Singapore Dance Theatre, T'ang Quartet and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra with multi-disciplinary artist Tan Swie Hian at leading London arts venues. This multi-agency initiative also incorporated Singapore Evening, a seamless multi-sensory experience of the arts, media, design, architecture, fashion and food in Singapore; as well as the Singapore Conference, featuring a keynote speech by Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and a panel discussion on the new positioning and role of Singapore in global business.

7.      Last year, DesignSingapore had also presented the best of Singapore's architecture at the Venice Biennale 9th International Architecture Exhibition and supported outstanding Singaporean designers at international showcases in Japan, France and Italy through the Overseas Promotion Programme. The Media Development Authority helped market Singapore's media industry by leading industry delegations to international media trade shows such as MIPTV, MIPCOM, American Film Market, BANFF TV Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Frankfurt Book Fair and International Broadcast Conference. The Media Development Authority also set up Singapore Pavilions in 8 international trade shows to facilitate Singapore media companies to market their products and content. In November 2004, the Asia Media Festival attracted more than 4,500 media professionals from 38 countries. About US$21 million of contracts were sealed at the festival with another US$50 million of business expected to be concluded subsequently.


8.      These are just some examples of how we are constantly exploring and seeking creative ways to market and profile Singapore's artistic and cultural achievements and increase awareness of Singapore as a hive of artistic and creative activity and a global business city. This is just a start. There will certainly be more of such initiatives that would offer opportunities for us to work together with professionals such as you and we would like to invite you to join us in this journey to develop and profile Singapore as a New Asia Creative Hub.

9.      I would like to congratulate Suntec Integrated Media for organizing the second edition of this platform for marketing professionals to interact, exchange ideas and seek out new creative marketing solutions. Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me tremendous pleasure now to declare Ideas! Asia 2005 open.

10.    Thank you.

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