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Despite pandemic, EDB secures S$13b of foreign investment in first 4 months of 2020

SINGAPORE — Despite the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Singapore managed to secure S$13 billion worth of foreign investment in the first four months of 2020, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Saturday (May 30).

Despite pandemic, EDB secures S$13b of foreign investment in first 4 months of 2020

The Economic Development Board has secured foreign investments totalling S$13 billion in the first four months of this year, from the electronics and infocomm technology sectors.

SINGAPORE — Despite the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Singapore managed to secure S$13 billion worth of foreign investment in the first four months of 2020, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Saturday (May 30). 

Lauding this as a “very good performance”, Mr Chan said that these investments will generate a few thousand jobs for Singaporeans over the next few years. 

He was speaking to the media over video-conferencing platform Zoom, in an interview about Singapore’s plans to rejuvenate the economy in the aftermath of the pandemic.

The sum of S$13 billion, secured by the Economic Development Board, will not be pumped into Singapore in one shot but over the next few years, he said.

The investments come from the electronics and infocomm technology sectors. Some companies that have committed the investments here include:

  • Electronics firm Micron, which intends to hire 1,500 more people in the next few years

  • E-commerce platforms Lazada and Shopee, which are looking to hire people in data analytics, business development and product development

  • Manufacturing firm Thermo Fisher Scientific, which intends to hire manufacturing technicians, quality control managers, due to demand for its Covid-19 test kit. 

Mr Chan said these investments show that Singapore remains an attractive destination for many global companies, as the Republic is known for being a trusted hub for intellectual property protection and its skilled workers. 

Singapore has also remained open and connected throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and has not put up export restrictions, he noted. 

“These are the characteristics that we should uphold to make ourselves an attractive investment location and to further distinguish ourselves from the competition,” said Mr Chan. 

When asked what were the financial incentives offered to these companies to continue investing in Singapore and hiring Singaporeans, Mr Chan declined to reveal the terms. 

He also added that intangible qualities such as a country’s trade policies and ease of connectivity are more important factors companies consider when making investments. 

MULTI-PRONGED ECONOMIC STRATEGY

Mr Chan added that while the circuit breaker measures have helped Singapore gain control over the Covid-19 infection curve, the Government’s priority now is to flatten the unemployment and recession curves. 

Part of the multi-pronged economic strategy would involve the Government securing new investments, and also working with companies to hire ahead so that they would have enough manpower by the time consumer demand picks up, he said. 

Authorities are also hoping to work with the various trade associations to arrange apprenticeships for both fresh graduates and mid-career workers. 

Mr Chan said that Singapore’s unemployment, which has now risen above 3 per cent, is not as bad as the Government had initially feared. He pointed out that other countries have seen unemployment skyrocket to more than 10 per cent because of the coronavirus. 

As the economy transits to a new normal, before a vaccine or rapid test kits are developed, he said the Government would not be able to preserve every job that existed in the pre-Covid economy, but that it is determined to help workers and businesses make the transition. 

He added that the range of measures would go into keeping Singapore’s unemployment rate as low as possible and helping businesses survive these challenging times. 

“Having a job for the worker is vital. It is not just about earning a paycheck to take care of the family. Of course, that is important. But it is also to do with the confidence and the dignity of the person,” said Mr Chan.



 

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economy Jobs foreign investment

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