SINGAPORE Jan 28 Singapore attracted S$16
billion ($13 billion) in fixed asset investments last year, a 17
percent increase from 2011, but the city-state will likely
attract fewer capital-intensive projects in coming years due to
land and manpower constraints, its Economic Development Board
(EDB) said on Monday.
EDB, Singapore's main economic planning agency, said it
expects to attract S$11 billion-13 billion worth of investments
in new facilities, equipment and machinery this year as
companies remain keen to expand in Southeast Asia at a time
growth prospects in developed economies remain weak.
"We believe that this (forecast) is consistent with the
level of capital-intensive investments that we expect to see
over the medium term in keeping with Singapore's land and labour
constraints," EDB managing director Yeoh Keat Chuan told
reporters at a briefing.
"There continues to be land for industry to grow," added EDB
chairman Leo Yip. "(But) it is quite clear that we have reached
a stage of our economic development where the rate of growth of
land going forward cannot be the same as what we had experienced
in the past."
Singapore's economy has been in the doldrums in the past
three quarters, hurt by slowing global demand for electronics
made worse by the strong local dollar and government measures to
make it harder for firms to hire low-cost workers from abroad.
The city-state's output of electronics fell 11.3 percent
last year, with December's year-on-year decline of 16.9 percent
the largest since January 2012.
However, the EDB said the city-state's electronics industry
remains competitive, citing recent investments by the likes of
Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc
. Around 30 percent of Singapore's semiconductor
production goes into components for smartphones and tablets -
the sector's star performer.
The electronics sector attracted fixed asset investments of
S$6.2 billion last year, which when fully operational will
create 2,900 skilled jobs and generate S$1.7 billion in
value-added each year, the agency added.
"We should not forget this is a very cyclical industry. In
2010 for example we benefitted very much when the electronics
sector in terms of VA (value added) grew by 50 percent and
played a key role in Singapore's economic recovery," Yip said.
"If global leaders continue to invest in Singapore, it
suggests to us that the sector by and large remains
competitive," he added.