EDB eyes 'steady' $10b-$12b inflow

WAY AHEAD: EDB chairman Yip (left) - with MD Yeoh Keat Chuan - says Singapore can grow via "high value-added and productivity-driven activities".


    Jan 29, 2014

    EDB eyes 'steady' $10b-$12b inflow

    COMPANIES invested $12.1 billion in Singapore last year, but the country is likely to attract a lower amount of capital this year.

    The Economic Development Board (EDB) yesterday said it expects $10 billion to $12 billion of fixed-asset investments to flow into Singapore this year.

    Last year's commitments by corporate investors created 21,400 skilled jobs and will generate $7.8 billion in total business expenditure annually, EDB said.

    The investment figures were in line with the agency's forecasts of $11 billion to $13 billion of investments for last year, and came after a record $16 billion in 2012.

    This year, EDB expects investments that will lead to $6 billion to $7.5 billion of total business expenditure every year, along with the creation of 14,000 to 16,000 skilled jobs.

    EDB chairman Leo Yip said this year's forecasts, while more modest than those for the year before, reflect a sustainable level of investments consistent with Singapore's manpower and land-planning considerations.

    "It's a steady level of investment that is in keeping with where Singapore is in our phase of economic development," he said.

    Adding that Singapore's cost structure is becoming more similar to that of advanced economies, Mr Yip said the country would have to seek growth from "high value-added and productivity-driven activities".

    He said he was encouraged by the broad base of investments that Singapore has secured in the past year, from large multinationals and medium-sized foreign companies across a wide range of industries.

    These included major investments by firms in the biologics and analytics sectors, growth areas in which Singapore is building up capabilities, he said.

    Among major investors last year was United States firm Medtronics, the world's largest stand-alone medical-device company. It opened its global centre of excellence for business-model innovation in Singapore last year.

    It was through this centre that the firm invented an affordable heart-disease diagnostic tool for patients in India and created the world's first consumer finance package for pacemakers, EDB said.