The Economic Development Board (EDB) will seek to consolidate Singapore’s position as a high-value manufacturing base by deepening the nation’s advanced manufacturing and digital capabilities.
This was highlighted by EDB at its 2017 year-in-review conference today. It also pointed out that investment commitment levels in Singapore for 2018 are expected to be similar to those seen last year.
Laying the roadmap for making Singapore a high-level manufacturing base, EDB said it will do this by attracting investments from lead adopters of advanced manufacturing, as well as continuing to transform Singapore-based companies through initiatives such as the Singapore Smart Industry Readiness Index.
EDB also said it remains committed to supporting companies in upskilling and readying their workforce for new job roles that will be created as industries shift towards automation and digitalisation.
In this connection, the Board will also team up with Workforce Singapore and support Professional Conversion Programmes to reskill and assist professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) in seeking careers in other sectors. It also added that it will work with other Government agencies like the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Enterprise Singapore and the National Research Foundation, to facilitate the research and development of new technologies and solutions.
EDB also made predictions regarding the investments in 2018. It expects fixed asset investments for the year to come in at between SGD8 billion and SGD10 billion. Meanwhile, total business expenditure per annum is forecast to be between SGD5 billion and SGD7 billion. Some 16,000 to 18,000 jobs are also projected to be created.
Total business expenditure per annum refers to commitments by firms setting up regional headquarters, research and development labs and other facilities in Singapore, In return for tax breaks, the firms must agree to spend a certain amount of money on salaries, rent and local procurement, among other things, each year.
Fixed asset investment refers to a firm's additional investment in facilities, equipment and machinery.
The Board also pointed out that target of 2017 key targets were also met. For instance, fixed asset investments came in at SGD9.4 billion, which was within the earlier forecast of SGD8 billion to SGD10 billion.
In addition to this, SGD6.5 billion of total business expenditure per annum came within expectations of SGD5 billion to SGD7 billion.
When fully implemented, these projects are expected to create 22,500 jobs, beating its earlier forecast of between 19,000 and 21,000 jobs, EDB said.
Dr Beh Swan Gin, chairman of the EDB, said, “The 2017 investment commitment levels are a demonstration of Singapore’s continued strength as a global business city and manufacturing hub.
“EDB will also continue to focus on industry transformation, and help companies stay competitive through the adoption of, and innovation in, advanced manufacturing, and digital technologies. This will open doors to new opportunities for companies based in Singapore, and create good jobs for Singaporeans,” he added.