Singapore: the Manufacturing Hub

The island city attracted over US$ 8 billion in fixed asset investment last year

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Singapore acquired investments committing 10.9 billion Singapore dollars (about US$ 8.02 billion) in fixed asset investments last year, compared to 9.4 billion Singapore dollars (about 6.9 billion U.S. dollars) for 2017, the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), a government agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, announced recently.

The island city, meanwhile, anchored 6.2 billion Singapore dollars (about US$ 4.5 billion) in total business expenditure per annum last year compared to 6.5 billion Singapore dollars (about 4.8 billion U.S. dollars) for 2017.

When these projects are fully implemented, they will create 17,400 new jobs, within the forecast range of 16,000-18,000 jobs, with an expected contribution of S$13.6 billion in Value-Added Per Annum, the EDB says.

The Achievements

EDB chair Beh Swan Gin says the investment commitment numbers of last year “are a testament to Singapore’s continued strength as a global business city and a hub for manufacturing. There are significant uncertainties in the global operating environment and signs of softening in many economies around the world. However, the level of investment commitments in Singapore is likely to remain resilient through 2019.”

“EDB will continue to strengthen Singapore's positioning as a key node in ASEAN, help companies to adopt and innovate with digital technologies, and leverage our capabilities to venture into new growth areas that will create good jobs for Singaporeans,” Beh adds.

For 2019, the EDB believes investment commitments are expected to be sustained at 2018 levels. It aims to continue to capture growth opportunities and create good jobs for Singaporeans by attracting quality investments, transforming the installed base of activities, and working with large corporates to create new businesses from Singapore.

What Lies Ahead

This year, the government is focusing on five key priorities.

Firstly, EDB aims to strengthen two areas of the digital economy and will work towards attracting leading manufacturers to invest in advanced manufacturing, becoming a regional platform for Singapore-based companies to export technologies and services through the Industrial Transformation Asia Pacific event.  What’s more, it will support companies in implementing the steps necessary in their Industry 4.0 journey.

EDB will also look to become the digital hub for nonmanufacturing companies, where they can learn best practices, access world class capabilities and embark on their digital transformation journey.

Fourth, as part of Singapore’s shift towards a value-creating, innovation-led economy, the EDB will continue to connect companies with Institutes of Higher Learning to establish corporate labs. In addition, it will take a more active role in helping companies that are looking to create new products, services and businesses, and support them on the journey of experimentation, commercialisation, and scaling out of Singapore.

Lastly, as technological disruption opens up new possibilities, some industries that were previously considered unviable are becoming potential growth areas for Singapore, for instance, mobility. Singapore can play a leading role in autonomous vehicles and smart mobility, supported by its advanced manufacturing capabilities and highly skilled workforce, the EDB says.