1. Good morning.
a. Wonderful to join you for this year’s gamescom asia conference in person.
2. When we had the inaugural conference last year, we were still in the troughs of the COVID-19 pandemic.
a. I recall many of you could only join us virtually due to the Safe Management Measures restrictions.
b. Fast forward a year, we have achieved so much as we transited to living to COVID-19.
c. Now, we are able to meet each other face to face, and welcome our guests from all around the world back in Singapore.
d. For that, I thank everyone for working with us.
Singapore’s MICE industry on a strong rebound
3. We have made a strong recovery as a key global destination for Business Events and Exhibitions and other large-scale tourism events. Allow me to highlight some examples.
a. A few weeks ago, Singapore hosted the long-awaited return of the F1 Singapore Grand Prix.
· We were captivated by the roar of the engines as well as the energy from the crowd.
· Welcomed more than 302,000 attendees, a record turnout since the inaugural edition in 2008.
b. The strong return of marquee international events, such as the gamescom asia conference, also speaks to Singapore’s strong recovery.
· This year’s gamescom asia is expected to receive at least 4 times more visitors than in 2021.
c. We also have other exciting international tentpole events lined up, such as the Food and Hotel Asia HoReCa, Singapore International Energy Week, Singapore Fintech Festival and Singapore Media Festival.
d. These events help bring the world to Singapore, and Singapore to the world. And bring people together. Apart from tourism receipts, global business events serve as strong catalysts to gather business leaders and industry players, like yourselves, to network, exchange ideas and build new business opportunities.
4. The robust recovery we are witnessing is only possible because of the continued resilience and adaptability of the business events industry.
a. Thank you for soldiering on!
b. We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with stakeholders like Koelnmesse to capture new opportunities arising from a post-pandemic future.
The global pandemic has supercharged interest for the gaming and e-sports industry
5. The e-gaming and e-sports industry has been one of the bright sparks amidst the economic gloom of the COVID-19 pandemic.
a. According to research firm Newzoo, the global industry experienced a 20% growth between 2019 to 2022, with the South-east Asian market expected to triple between 2017 and 2023.
b. In 2020 alone, Singapore’s local e-gaming market grew by 15%.
6. Singapore will continue to explore how to grow the sector, and strengthen our position as one of Asia’s leading media and entertainment hubs.
a. We are already home to a wide variety of game development studios and publishing firms, including triple A studios like Ubisoft, Mihoyo, Riot and Bandai Namco.
b. We will continue supporting our homegrown companies as they explore the frontier of new and immersive content formats and business models.
c. I am confident our gaming industry will continue to thrive as our local players develop original, innovative and world class gaming content.
Singapore continues to be a choice destination to host gaming/ e-sports events
7. Singapore remained a choice destination for major e-sports tournaments in 2022.
a. Notable tournaments include the Garena Free Fire World Series, League of Legends Wild Rift Icons Global Championship, and the 11th edition of Dota 2’s The International that is happening concurrently alongside gamescom Asia.
b. This is the first time that Dota 2’s The International, the biggest event on its competitive calendar, is being organised in a South-east Asian country. We are proud to host fans and enthusiasts from all over the world.
c. These events demonstrate Singapore’s ability to host such events, and we hope to remain the choice destination for best-in-class e-sports events.
8. We want to do more with likeminded stakeholders and industry partners as Singapore seeks to be the Global Asia Node for business events.
a. Therefore, I am pleased to witness the MOU signing between Koelnmesse and STB that is happening after this, as they reaffirm their commitment to anchoring and expanding gamescom asia in Singapore.
b. With the new B2C segment launching in 2023, I am excited to welcoming more regional visitors to Singapore to participate in the festivities at gamescom asia.
9. I want to re-affirm Singapore’s commitment to supporting the growth and development of the e-gaming and e-sports industry.
a. As I shared last year, I am also a fan in e-gaming and e-sports.
b. Beyond the economic value of the industry, I believe that it also helps to instil personal values such as teamwork and creativity.
c. E-sports provide our youths with opportunities to learn and grow.
· The e-sports Academy by the Singapore Cybersports & Online Gaming Association (SCOGA), and supported by the National Youth Council, provides tailored e-sports programmes to educate youths with important values such as resilience and leadership.
d. Singaporeans can also boost their health and wellness through active virtual sports such as virtual cycling hosted on the Zwift platform.
e. Our teams seek to actively promote and ensure that people understand and appreciate the value of the e-sports and e-gaming industry. I will continue to be a champion for the industry.
10. I wish everyone a fruitful and engaging conference ahead. And now it’s GAME ON!
11. Thank you.