Three areas in which investment could boost Singapore’s economy in 2018

More than S$9 billion of investment was made in the Singapore economy in 2017 – with a similar amount on its way in 2018. But what does this tell us about the health of the economy – and where can we expect this investment to have most impact?

It’s worth reflecting that the last 12 months have been pretty positive for the Lion City. Ask a Singapore forex broker and they’ll tell you that the Singapore dollar enjoyed 12 months of growth against the US dollar, recovering back to the levels last enjoyed in early 2015, before it experienced a dip.

Singapore is also second only to Hong Kong when it comes to ranking the freest economies in the world – with government integrity, labour freedom, and property rights all seen as strengths.

It clearly enters 2018 in a position of strength, therefore. It’s in this positive context that we can consider the Singapore Economic Development Board’s (EDB) view on investment. As we’ve already stated, the EDB – which operates under the Ministry of Trade and Industry – expects more of the same in the next 12 months when it comes to investment, following on from S$9.4 million in 2017.

EDB Chairman Dr Beh Swan Gin said: The 2017 investment commitment levels are a demonstration of Singapore’s continued strength as a global business city and manufacturing hub. We expect the steady and solid level of investment interest from companies to continue in 2018 although there are uncertainties in the global operating environment.”

“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.”

The opportunities mentioned by Dr Beh Swan Gin fall into three categories:


The EDB wants to consolidate Singapore’s position as a high value manufacturing base. To do so, it aims to futureproof its advanced manufacturing firms, helping them to cope with what’s known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution – the development of the Internet of Things, cloud technology and cognitive computing. The Singapore Smart Industry Readiness Index aims to help highlight and address this.

Upskilling the workforce

The EDB also wants to help companies to train their workforce so that they are able to capitalize on any opportunities thrown up by increased automation and digitalization – trends that are set to revolutionize the way businesses from across the globe operate. This will also inevitably involve helping professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) to re-skill if the impact of automation is likely to require them to switch careers.

Digital disruptors

Singapore wants to be a destination that incubates the next batch of disruptors – and a number of agencies are working together to try to foster the right environment for this sort of business to be able to set up and flourish. The EDB will be working with A*STAR, Enterprise Singapore and the National Research Foundation to try to identify and support businesses

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3 Responses to “Three areas in which investment could boost Singapore’s economy in 2018”

  • Haigen-diaz:

    The idea that any of this Manufacturing, Upskilling the workforce, Digital disruptors, is in any way surprising to anyone who studies these subjects is very, very difficult to imagine. If GDP, or GDP per capita, or real GDP per capita (corrected for inflation) is your goal, then free trade does tend to help maximize that variable. But what’s disturbing is that it has become acceptable among intellectuals, and those with intellectual pretensions, to advocate GDP growth as the all-important goal worthy of worship. In other words, rather than simply taking the position that we (Singapore) are in a global market and we must rapidly adjust to global conditions, the term “free-market economy” is a simplistic description of capital/resource flows and agglomerations. Until a more thorough, systematic, structural view of the global economy is put before the public, economic/financial volatility will expand and explanations will continue to be wrapped in sophistry. In theory, free trade makes the pie bigger, although how the pie gets split up among winners and losers varies. In our case, we lost a lot of manufacturing, skilled-based labor, and routine transaction processing jobs to low-wage countries. In some cases existing jobs were off-shored, in other cases the jobs were created overseas to begin with as part of the business design. The long term prognostication of the world economy is not one of peaceful convergence but of violent social upheavals in developed and developing economies, widespread trade-wars as nations scramble for scarce natural resources such as water and petrol, widespread environmental degradation and mass upheavals and unrest in all major nations and economic and financial markets. The problems of the next few decades will be the direct results of our future 4G leaders’ policies being pursued in present times. The practical, pragmatic approach taken by the leadership of China to adapt their economy to the realities of the global market have been astute enough to secure their resources & exploit potential markets though one may not like the way that they manipulate exchange rates to an unfair advantage. China is leading in developing non-fossil fuel energy & transportation technologies for their own use as well as for trade in global markets, cheap electricity is the goal. It can be done & with this very cheap electric power, humankind can have gasoline, diesel, & jet fuel made from water & carbon dioxide in the air. China seems to grasp the concept of creating goods that can broadly benefit people. This is the secret to the future.

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  • LIONS:


    ECON0MIC PROGRESS shud be measured by WELL-BEING PER CAPITA instead.


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  • Rabble-rouser:

    A lot of motherhood statements being said by the EDB. Frankly, S’pore’s path as directed by the PAP politics & their Paramount State Economy has gone too far down the road into a Dysfunctional state of affairs:
    * too high costs of living factors;
    * plenty of Malinvestments:
    – in Brick ‘N Mortar investments,
    – in vanity mega projects,
    – in SWFs misguided investments, &
    – in a huge Property bubble waiting to burst;
    There is no turning back nor any U-turn possible. And that path will lead to sudden death & eventual economic collapse!
    S’pore just looks good on paper (GDP growth, GDP per capita, currency strength, etc) but the real economy were simply hollowed out while the consumption & spending factor from the people simply tapped out!
    Much of S’pore’s Economy were still State-directed investments & those investments were govt-influenced using a variety of incentives, grants, co-funded schemes & joint ventures. And history has shown that these ended up with no long-term benefits nor any retained intellectual property rights for S’pore. Cases were HDD technology/R&D & manufacturing expertise (all hollowed out); Film industry (remember Tang Dynasty Village), Biomedical research (Dr Simon Sharvon’s case), etc.
    A lot of these govt initiated programs were either vanity schemes or simply good sounding initiatives which sounds good but in reality, impossible to realise results.
    1. “The EDB will be working with A*STAR, Enterprise Singapore and the National Research Foundation to try to identify and support businesses which operate with cutting edge tech (and fintech in particular).”

    Govt-to-govt dept [intercourse] & Stat boards handshakes, back-slapping that will go nowhere except trigger govt paid bonus for public servants.

    2. “The EDB wants to consolidate Singapore’s position as a high value manufacturing base…[using] the Fourth Industrial Revolution – the development of the Internet of Things, cloud technology and cognitive computing”

    Which is already happening @ Silicon Valley while cloud technology is already embedded in businesses & personal use.

    3.”The EDB also wants to help companies to train their workforce so that they are able to capitalize on any opportunities thrown up by increased automation and digitalization”

    GLCs like SPH, Comfort Delgro already eaten alive by online competition & by ride-share apps. Where was the EDB?

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