The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) secured investment commitments in 2018 that met or exceeded forecasts for all indicators. The results reflect Singapore’s continued strength as a manufacturing hub, and as the preferred location in Asia for global companies to base key business functions that drive innovation and growth.
For 2019, investment commitments are expected to be sustained at 2018 levels. EDB will 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.
2018 in review
In 2018, EDB anchored investments committing S$10.9 billion in Fixed Asset Investments (“FAI”) and S$6.2 billion in Total Business Expenditure Per Annum (“TBE”) to Singapore, within the forecast range for the year.
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 (“VA”).
2019 investment outlook
For 2019, EDB expects investment commitment numbers to be sustained at 2018 levels, as global growth eases amid dampening demand and uncertainties in the global operating environment.
EDB will focus on five key priorities in 2019.
First, against the backdrop of global trade tensions, EDB sees an opportunity for Singapore to become a platform for ASEAN, where global and regional companies do business. EDB will also enhance Singapore’s physical and digital connectivity, as well as cultivate an ASEAN-centric workforce through the Global Innovators Academy.
Digitalization unlocks new sources of growth and innovation for companies.
In this regard, EDB will focus on two areas of the digital economy.
For advanced manufacturing, EDB will continue to strengthen Singapore’s competitive edge by attracting leading manufacturers to invest in advanced manufacturing here, becoming a regional platform for Singapore-based companies to export technologies and services through the Industrial Transformation Asia Pacific event, and supporting companies in implementing the steps necessary in their Industry 4.0 journey.
EDB will also look to become the digital hub for non-manufacturing 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, 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, commercialization, and scaling out of Singapore.
Finally, as technological disruption opens up new possibilities, some industries that were previously considered unviable are becoming potential growth areas for Singapore.
Mobility is one example.
Backed by its advanced manufacturing capabilities and highly skilled workforce, Singapore can play a leading role in autonomous vehicles and smart mobility.
EDB will build on the momentum generated by investments across the mobility value chain, including artificial intelligence, urban research, and insurance, to establish an ecosystem of related projects in support of this industry cluster.
“The 2018 investment commitment numbers are 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,” said Dr Beh Swan Gin, Chairman, EDB.
“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.”