The market, which opens today, is expecting nearly 5000 people from 60 countries.

As part of the Singapore Media Festival, Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) and ScreenSingapore 2014 opened officially this morning (Dec 10) with organizers expecting a record of nearly 5,000 attendees from 60 countries.

This year’s event is hosting exhibitors including seven Hollywood studios – Walt Disney, Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, CBS Studios, MGM Worldwide and NBC Universal. Asian companies include Mediacorp, CCTV, CJ Entertainment, NHK and Astro.

The event is also hosting delegations from Australia, China, France, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan, with attendees also from India, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Countries participating for the first time include Bangladesh, Croatia, Finland, Nepal and Poland.

Held at the Marina Bay Sands complex, the market runs Dec 10-12. This is the first year it is being held under the Singapore Media Festival umbrella along with Singapore International Film Festival (Dec 4-14) and the Asian Television Awards (Dec 11).

At the pre-market conference held yesterday (Dec 9), president of Huayi Brothers Media Corporation James Wang in a keynote speech talked about the massive growth in China: “In 2013, the BO revenue has achieved RMB21.8bn [$3.5bn]. In 2014, it will hit RMB30bn. This number has made us become number 2 in the global industry. By 2017, there will be 40,000 movie screens in China and box office revenue will hit RMB63bn to become the number 1 movie market player in the whole world.”

ATF/ScreenSingapore is positioning itself as a gateway between East (and especially China) and West.

“We are meeting at an exciting time for Asia’s media industry. A more affluent and discerning middle class is spending more on entertainment. Markets like China, India and Indonesia are growing rapidly. International players are all looking for ways to make inroads into the region,” said second minister for Communications and Information Lawrence Wong.

Earlier today at ATF/ScreenSingapore, a $100m China media fund was launched by Bona Film Group’s Yu Dong in partnership with Singapore-based fund management company Tembusu Partners and Singaporean media entrepreneur Calvin Cheng which will facilitate foreign investment in the Chinese market (click here for story).

Wong added the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) is working on initiatives to help strengthen local capabilities, amongst which is a strategy to facilitate strategic partnerships between international and local media companies.

“Many leading international media companies are already in Singapore, such as HBO, Fox International Channels and Disney. We are encouraged by the growing partnerships between these international companies and our local talent. For example, HBO has partnered two local companies, Infinite Studios and Infocus Asia, to produce original drama series like Grace. More than 100 Singaporeans were also involved in the shoot of two upcoming Hollywood blockbusters, Agent 47 and Equals, which were partially shot and produced on our shores,” he said.

Wong also noted that Singapore’s 50th anniversary next year would be marked by “a bumper crop of more than 24 Singapore films - double our average annual output” as well as commemorative media events.