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Singapore to pump millions into digital media industry

The country's government has pledged to invest $590.5 million over the next decade to develop its digital media industry.

SINGAPORE--The Singapore government has pledged to invest $590.5 million over the next decade to develop the country's digital media industry.

Vivian Balakrishnan, second minister for trade and industry, said Monday that the investment is expected to create a total of 30,000 new jobs by 2018: 6,000 within the digital media industry and 24,000 in related industries.

Balakrishnan, who is also minister for community development, youth and sports, was speaking at the launch of Singapore's first game development and localization facility by Electronic Arts, the developer of popular games such as "The Sims" and "Need for Speed."

The investment, which will be managed by the Economic Development Board (EDB) in two phases of five years each, is a part of the island-state's blueprint for the overall media industry, noted Balakrishnan. The authorities expect the industry to record a value-add output of $5.9 billion by 2018, he added.

According to EDB Managing Director Ko Kheng Hwa, the funds will be used in four areas: engaging and bringing in foreign players such as Electronic Arts; grooming local and regional talent by attracting reputable media specialty schools; research and development; and start-up funds from local investors for local and overseas digital media projects.

The digital media spectrum in Singapore, Ko noted, covers games, animation, special effects, licensing and intellectual property management, and merchandising.

Vivian Yeo reported for ZDNet Asia.