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Singapore merges MDA and IDA to reflect convergence of media and technology

IDA logoMDA logoSingapore’s media regulator and IT agency are to merge to better position the country in an era of media and technology convergence.

The new government body will be formed from the merger of the Media Development Authority and the Info-comm Development Authority, and called Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA).

The department will be led by Gabriel Lim, CEO of MDA, according to an article in the Straits Times. IMDA will officially launch in the second half of the year.

Also to be introduced later on in 2016 is a Government Technology Organisation to lead the government’s efforts to embrace digital.

Communications minister Dr Yaacob Ibrahim said in a press release that the idea to merge the authorities “recognises the potential of infocomm media to power the digital transformation of our economy, to revitalise and renew our service and manufacturing industries, and to effect the digital transformation of government services.”

Despite Singapore’s status as a high-tech hub, the country is dominated by traditional media. Tobias Wilson, chairman of the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Singapore, recently estimated that only eight per cent of total ad spend in Singapore goes on digital.

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