Singapore Collaborates with Neighbors to Strengthen Regional Supply Chains

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Singapore’s Regional Supply Chain Initiative

Singapore is collaborating with Malaysia and Indonesia to establish a robust regional supply chain base that takes advantage of changes in global manufacturing flows. This initiative aims to create a manufacturing hub encompassing Singapore, Malaysia’s Johor state, and Indonesia’s Riau Islands. Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director of Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB), highlighted these efforts during an event organized by LSEG and Reuters Newsmaker. The goal is to enhance Southeast Asia’s competitiveness as a production hub, leveraging increased investments from India, China, and Southeast Asia.

Capitalizing on Shifting Global Manufacturing Flows

Reaping the benefits of rising investments from India, China, and Southeast Asia in recent years, Singapore is increasing its cooperation with its neighbors to establish a manufacturing base that would include Singapore, the southern Malaysian state of Johor, and the nearby Riau Islands of Indonesia, Economic Development Board (EDB) Managing Director Jacqueline Poh during an LSEG and Reuters Newsmaker event.

The Competitive Landscape in Asia

As global wealth increasingly gravitates toward Asia, Singapore seeks to maintain its position as a global financial center. Concurrently, it aims to establish itself as a wealth management hub for ultra-rich individuals. However, competition in the region is intensifying as economies recover from the pandemic.

2023 Investment Outlook

Poh cautioned that 2023 might witness more modest investment figures after a record-breaking 2022, during which Singapore secured SGD 22.5 billion (approximately USD 16.5 billion) in fixed asset investments. Over 66% of these investments came from electronics manufacturing projects, primarily driven by the semiconductor super cycle, which has since reversed due to an electronics downturn. Presently, Singapore accounts for 11% of the global semiconductor market and manufactures 20% of global semiconductor equipment.

Green Finance and Renewable Energy Investments

Moreover, the EDB is focusing on bolstering “green finance” and renewable energy investments, particularly in solar, wind, and hydropower sectors.

Singapore’s Growing Role as a Safe Haven

Singapore is continuing to position itself as a safe haven for the wealthy, who are setting up family offices to manage their funds outside of their home countries to avoid political turmoil and economic uncertainty.

Rapid Growth of Family Offices

The number of single-family offices, which handle investments, taxation, wealth transfer, and other financial matters for the super-rich, has surged in Singapore to 1,100 at the end of 2022 from 400 at the end of 2020, data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) showed.

Investing in Human Capital

Singapore is actively cultivating family offices by enhancing educational programs aimed at asset management and financial planning. Initiatives include collaborations with institutions like the Wealth Management Institute at the MAS to create specialized courses for family offices. The objective is to ensure that family offices have access to training that equips them to deploy their capital effectively.

The Broader Vision

Singapore’s ambition is to foster a dynamic and supportive environment for family offices and to serve as a destination of choice for wealth management. The city-state is actively pursuing these goals by providing the necessary infrastructure and education to attract and retain family offices in an evolving global landscape.

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