EDB nurtures a home for global companies at crossroads of Asia
Asia's emergence as a key market and economic driver has given the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) momentum for the nation's evolution as a global business hub.
"The positioning of Singapore as a global Asian hub has resonated very strongly," says Yeoh Keat Chuan, managing director of EDB, the Singapore government's lead agency for industry development and promotion. "Being located at the crossroads of Asia and the world, Singapore provides a distinct advantage to building interfacing networks. Chinese companies are increasingly using Singapore as a springboard to venture out of Asia."
Such investments are driven by an established rule of law, the knowledge base on industry segments and of regional dynamics, connectivity and livability. With Changi Airport linked to 210 cities, a transshipment hub connecting 600 ports and terabit internet speed, connectivity is multidimensional. Free trade and investment guarantee agreements extend the reach, especially in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and on the mainland.
By creating virtuous cycles in strategic industries, EDB sustains Singapore's global standing. For instance, early investments in precision engineering enabled excellence in the aerospace, marine, electronics and medical devices industries. A strong track record in the maintenance, repair and overhaul business made local manufacturing of key aircraft components a natural progression.
Similarly, ExxonMobil's petrochemicals complex in Singapore is its largest globally, following a multibillion-dollar expansion completed last year. Attracted by Singapore's rich talent pool and investor-friendly business environment, biotechnology pioneer Amgen has opened a global hub at the Tuas Biomedical Park. Next-generation packaging technologies critical to the semiconductor industry are being developed at a global centre of excellence put up by Applied Materials with Singapore's world-renowned Agency for Science, Technology and Research Institute of Microelectronics.
Fresh synergies are forthcoming in consumer businesses such as infant nutritionals, the global research and development space and business analytics.
"We look towards the next wave, build capabilities and incubate new industries. That gives us the traction," Yeoh says.
Singapore Economic Development Board