WE REFER to the article ("Clarity needed on whether chip dip a cause for worry"; Tuesday).
Singapore's electronics industry remains globally competitive. While there have been some recent consolidations and retrenchments, these are in line with the electronics industry's transformation towards higher value-added activities.
An indicator of an industry's competitiveness is its ability to attract new investments. Singapore's electronics industry attracted more than $16 billion in investments over the last three years, which will create 7,700 skilled jobs when fully realised. Through high-value-added components manufacturing, research and development, and headquarters activities, the industry creates good-paying jobs for Singaporeans.
Multinational corporations make decisions to shift their operations across different countries for various reasons. Despite the ongoing transformation in the electronics industry, leading global companies continue to grow their activities in Singapore. These include Broadcom, which still maintains significant operations and is exploring new areas to invest in Singapore.
Excluding the firm-specific factor reported earlier this year, the Economic Development Board's (EDB) recent checks with firms also show that the semiconductor industry is reflecting growth this year. In particular, wafer fab production levels were at a record high in the second quarter of this year.
Over the past three years, electronics companies have invested more than $1 billion in productivity initiatives to transform their manufacturing operations here.
For example, Hitachi Chemical Singapore is introducing robots to make Singapore the most automated printed wire board plant in the world. And Texas Instruments has implemented a fully automated warehousing system, improving productivity by 40 per cent and space utilisation fourfold.
The EDB has positioned Singapore to capture new opportunities from the global trends of Internet of Things and cloud computing by building capabilities in power management, communications, sensors and storage technologies.
More than $500 million of investments in these areas have been announced this year from leading electronics companies such as MediaTek, International Rectifier and AFPD, which will create more than 500 new jobs. The EDB expects to see more of such investments in the near future.
Manufacturing is a key pillar of Singapore's economy that provides good jobs, diversifies our economy and enables Singapore to develop innovative solutions for the future. We expect total manufacturing output to grow this year compared to last year.
The EDB remains committed to ensuring that the electronics industry continues to grow. Our long-term outlook for the industry remains positive as we continue to attract exciting new electronics investments.
Lim Kok Kiang
Assistant Managing Director
Singapore Economic Development Board