Creative and technical talent needed to boost South-east Asian media sector: Iswaran

In a photo taken on Nov 7, 2019, Communications and Information Minister S Iswaran speaking during the Asia House Global Trade Dialogue at Mandarin Oriental hotel.

SINGAPORE - Singapore needs to develop more media talent not just in the creative lines, but in the technical fields as well, said Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran on Monday (Dec 2).

"To bring an idea to fruition, you need technology capabilities, and you need people who are well-versed in the technical aspects of production. And it has to be done at a world-class level in order for the content to be distributable to the global audience.

"So I think that's an important area where government and industry can work together with our institutions of higher learning to create more of such world-class talent that can learn from the best from around the world in order to participate in this sector," Mr Iswaran said.

This boost to the talent base is necessary to underpin development of the media sector in South-east Asia, a region recognised by international industry leaders as primed for growth.

Mr Iswaran was speaking with reporters following the inaugural Media International Advisory Council (IAC) that he chaired at Marina Bay Sands on Monday afternoon.

The panel gathered some of the region's top media industry leaders to discuss media industry trends.

Held as part of the ongoing Singapore Media Festival, the IAC will be convened annually to further collaboration among players and increase the vibrancy of the industry in South-east Asia.

The Council comprises 11 members who have been appointed by the Infocomm Media Development Authority for two years.

They are:

  • Mr Alvin W. Sariaatmadja, president director, PT Elang Mahkota Teknologi Tbk (Emtek);
  • Mr Bill Holmes, chief business development officer, Netflix;
  • Mr Chase Carey, CEO and executive chairman, Formula One Group;
  • Mr Chatri Sityodtong, founder, chairman and CEO, ONE Championship;
  • Dr Gong Yu, founder and CEO, iQiyi;
  • Ms Janice Lee, managing director, PCCW Media Group;
  • Mr Joe Ravitch, co-founder and partner, Raine Group;
  • Mr Li Ruigang, chairman and CEO, CMC Capital Group;
  • Mr Robert Gilby, founder and CEO, Blue Hat Ventures;
  • Mr Uday Shankar, president, The Walt Disney (Apac);
  • and Mr Vivek Couto, executive director, Media Partners Asia

The council would be able to furnish the Government with its assessment of trends and issues from a macro perspective, which would help shape policies and development of programmes, Mr Iswaran said.

He noted that there are different regulations and jurisdictions in place across the Asean region in the media value chain.

"This is an area where I think the industry seeks to have greater dialogue with governments in order to see where they can get at least greater clarity and, if possible, greater harmonisation so that the industry can approach the region as one large market in order to serve the needs of the region."

The Singapore Media Festival, which runs until Dec 8 this year, is one of Asia's leading media events.

It brings together professionals in the film, television and digital media industries.

The event includes the Asian Academy Creative Awards, Asia TV Forum & Market and ScreenSingapore, Singapore Comic Con and Singapore International Film Festival.

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