Singapore: Singapore aims to grow its manufacturing sector by 50% over the next 10 years to maintain its competitive edge, as the pandemic highlights its importance to the city-state’s trade-dependent economy.
Commerce and Industry Minister Chan Chun Seng said on Monday that the target is ambitious as it will become difficult to rely on foreign workers to supplement the local workforce.
To achieve the goal, he added, Singapore should innovate and produce higher value products instead of seeking to lower the cost of production or labor.
The plan comes as the manufacturing industry emerged as one of the bright spots in Singapore as it experienced its worst recession ever.
The pandemic has created a demand for products from sectors such as biomedical electronics and micro-engineering sub-sectors, which in turn generated demand for support sectors such as logistics.
The city’s manufacturing sector contributes around 21%, or about S $ 106 billion, of the total GDP and accounts for around 450,000 workers, or about 12% of the workforce, according to government figures.
“In the battle against COVID-19, securing essential supplies has sometimes become a barter trade, and it may continue as well because we see global supply chains continue to disrupt,” Chan told local media on the sidelines of a visit to a precision engineering department. Occurred.
“So whether or not people are going to sell us things” often depends on whether “we have things that others value and want to have, other than just a question of whether people are willing to pay for them,” Chan said.
Given that it will reduce dependence on cheap foreign labor, more local residents will have to work in the sector, Chan said.
He added that Singapore will also try to attract the best global and local companies in the specialized fields that will ensure that the city remains a critical node in global value chains.