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CommunicAsia 2017: Minister for Communications and Information, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim has claimed that ‘Digitalization’ will power Singapore into its next phase of growth. Dr Ibrahim was delivering his keynote address at the Infocomm Media Business Exchange opening ceremony at CommunicAsia which was held in The Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre in Singapore.

The Minister delivered a brilliant presentation and outlined Singapore’s Digital Vision’ which is aimed at empowering industries as well as improving people’s lives. Dr Ibrahim declared that due to the phenomenal pace of digital innovation on a global basis it was imperative that Singapore accelerated its own ‘digital transformation’.

He said, “Given the quickening pace of digital innovation worldwide, we need to accelerate our own digital transformation to prepare our people and businesses for the future. We need to develop strong digital industries in their own right, and we need to catalyze their transformation of other industries to spur productivity and yield new synergies.”

Dr Ibrahim highlighted the importance of the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) which was formed last October. According to the Minister for Communications the initiative has been an incredible success and has taken important strides in driving a digital vision for Singapore.

He said, “The IDMA will help us execute a vision where we have a world-class infocomm media sector empowering other industries and improving people’s lives. A key enabler of our digital vision is pervasive connectivity that is fast, reliable and secure.

In addition to this, Dr Ibrahim claimed that the IMDA has laid the building blocks that will drive the ‘digital economy’ in Singapore – and spoke of how the IMDA had invested in people in order to provide them with the opportunity to seize digital opportunities.

Dr Ibrahim said, “IMDA has been actively investing in our people to skillfully and creatively seize digital opportunities. Since IMDA launched the TechSkills Accelerator or TeSa in March 2016, more than 110 SkillsFuture Career advisors have come onboard and more than 10,000 professionals have benefited from the programs to acquire ICT expertise and skills. IMDA has undoubtedly laid the building blocks that will drive the ‘digital economy’.”

The Minster for Communications then spoke about the establishment of AI.SG (Artificial Intelligence and Data Science) which is a new national program which received funding of up to $150m to boost Singapore’s AI capabilities. Dr Ibrahim said the new initiative will serve to help address some of the major challenges currently facing Singapore.

He said, “Through partnerships between research institutes and companies to expand knowledge, create tools and develop talent in AI, we hope that AI.SG can help address major challenges that affect society and industry, in areas such as finance, city management and healthcare.”

In addition to this, Dr Ibrahim highlighted the recently established Singapore Data Consortium which will serve to strengthen collaborations amongst Institutes of Higher Learning, research institutes, and the industry in data science R&D. He said, “The consortium will build a local pipeline of talents with deep data science capabilities.”

He concluded by declaring that the infocomm media sector is the key tool which will power Singapore to its next phase of growth.

Dr Ibrahim concluded by saying, “The infocomm media sector holds great promise to make a huge difference in powering Singapore into its next phase of growth. Let us work together to build a world-class infocomm media sector in Singapore that can empower other industries which will ultimately improve people’s lives.”