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Opening Remarks by Minister S Iswaran at the F1 Term Extension Press Conference

Opening Remarks by Minister S Iswaran at the F1 Term Extension Press Conference

OPENING REMARKS BY MR S ISWARAN, MINISTER FOR TRADE AND INDUSTRY (INDUSTRY) FOR THE F1 TERM EXTENSION PRESS CONFERENCE ON 15 SEPTEMBER 2017 (FRI), 3.30PM, AT THE F1 PIT BUILDING MEDIA CENTRE

I am pleased to announce that Singapore will continue to host the F1 Grand Prix for a further four years, from 2018 to 2021.

2.         The agreement was concluded today, after several rounds of negotiations between the Singapore Tourism Board, the race promoter, Singapore Grand Prix Pte Ltd (SGP), and FORMULA 1 ®. 

3.         The negotiations have been deliberate and taken some time for several reasons.

4.         First, with the changes in the ownership and management of FORMULA 1 ®, serious negotiations could commence only in February this year. Second, we wanted to understand the new management’s vision and plans for FORMULA 1 ®; the importance and role accorded to the Singapore race; and whether this was aligned with our own objectives.  

5.         Third, we wanted to thoroughly evaluate the medium term prospects for F1 and the value a term extension could bring to Singapore. 

6.         I am glad that all parties have been able to agree on commercial terms for an extension, as FORMULA 1 ® and Singapore have been good for each other.

7.    Over the past decade, the Singapore race has introduced many innovative elements and become an iconic and highly anticipated event on the F1 calendar.  It is the first and only night race, set on the streets of Marina Bay, with our distinctive skyline and landmarks as the backdrop.

8.         From the outset, we envisioned the F1 Singapore Grand Prix not just as a sporting event but also as a lifestyle festival and business event.  Hence, the race is complemented by exciting entertainment in the circuit and the city, and an array of conferences, corporate meetings and networking opportunities. 

9.       In turn, FORMULA 1 ®’s global viewership and media coverage have boosted Singapore’s image as a vibrant and innovative city, and the race has yielded significant economic benefits.  Including the 2017 race, Singapore would have hosted over 450,000 international visitors, contributing about $1.4 billion in incremental tourism receipts.[1]

10.      These economic benefits should be sustained, if not enhanced, in the new term.  The cost of organising the race is also expected to be lower at about $135 million each year, which is noteworthy as operational costs in general have continued to rise over the past 10 years.  The Government’s share of costs remains at 60%. 

11.       The race has generated good opportunities for local businesses with more than 90% of race-related works sub-contracted to Singapore-based companies. Our entertainment and hospitality sector has also been a significant beneficiary.

12.       The race promoter, SGP, has worked closely with government agencies to broaden the reach of FORMULA 1 to Singaporeans through more and deeper community engagement activities, site tours, school programmes, and the highly popular Pit Lane Walk on pre-race Thursday. 

13.      In addition, over 1,000 students from our ITEs and Polytechnics are actively involved as race volunteers every year, using this invaluable opportunity to learn on the job and develop their skills.  A further 1,000 volunteers are also involved as race marshals and in other capacities.

14.      Over the past decade, we have developed a strong partnership with Mr Ong Beng Seng and his team at SGP, as well as Mr Bernie Ecclestone and FORMULA 1 ®, to continually enhance the Singapore race and sustain its tourism appeal and economic value.  We aim to build on that partnership with Mr Chase Carey and his team at FORMULA 1 ®, and work on new ideas and initiatives for the experience in Singapore.

15.       We look forward to the continued support of all Singaporeans and our business community, as we work with FORMULA 1 ®, Singapore GP, and all stakeholders, to ensure the F1 Singapore Grand Prix remains an event that we can all be proud of.

MINISTRY OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY 
15 SEPTEMBER 2017

[1] This includes a projection for 2017.​ 

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