Chips, Biotech Lead Singapore’s $8.8 Billion Investments Draw


Singapore attracted S$11.8 billion ($8.8 billion) in investment commitments last year, led by semiconductor manufacturers ramping up production to meet a global chip shortage and biotechnology firms chasing pandemic demand.

Investments saw a 31% drop from the previous year, according to data Wednesday from the Economic Development Board, which it said was expected after posting an “exceptional” S$17.2 billion in 2020 and beats the medium- to long-term target of S$8 billion to S$10 billion. Over 17,000 new jobs are expected to be created, according to the EDB.

Electronics continued to be the largest source of investments amid heightened demand for semiconductors, and should continue to drive growth as the supply shortage is seen to persist until at least 2023, EDB Chairman Beh Swan Gin said in a briefing.

Biomedical manufacturing overtook the chemicals sector as the second-largest source of investment commitments, accounting for 15% of the total last year from just 3.7% in 2020. The pandemic has created impetus for new products and services, such as mRNA vaccines, biologic products and medical devices, according to EDB Managing Director Jacqueline Poh.

The U.S. remains the largest source of investments at 67% of total, but the EDB noted that a rising number of Chinese firms were relocating from Hong Kong and the mainland to set up shop in Singapore. China accounted for 1.1% of investments in the city-state last year.

“Chinese companies that have products and services that can be competitive outside of China, they believe they can internationalize their business from Singapore because they can access Singaporean talent, Southeast Asian talent, and also talent from Western companies to compete globally,” Beh said.