Singapore angling itself to be part of new, shorter global value chains in manufacturing: DPM Tharman

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said that emerging technologies are shortening many value chains, and letting products be made closer to the customers.
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said that emerging technologies are shortening many value chains, and letting products be made closer to the customers.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - The Republic is poised to be part of new global value chains in manufacturing amid a technological revolution, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Thursday (Nov 9).

Mr Tharman told the launch in Tampines of a new manufacturing research and development centre for American electronics company Jabil that emerging technologies are shortening many value chains and letting products be made closer to the customers.

"This manufacturing revolution is both challenge and opportunity for Singapore," he said.

"We are positioning ourselves to be part of this revolution, and to be part of the new global value chains."

This would involve not only being where cutting-edge goods such as biosensors are made, but also supporting the high-value activities that accompany manufacturing - from research and development and data analytics to intellectual property protection and logistics management.

Being well placed to ride the wave also means that Singapore workers must "develop deep skills as well as to continuously augment our skills", Mr Tharman added.

Jabil's new facility, which is set to be fully operational by 2020, is the company's fourth such innovation hub worldwide and its first in Asia.

The other Blue Sky Centres, as they have been dubbed, are in San Jose, California, and Clinton, Massachusetts, i and Tortosa in Spain.

The Singapore centre will focus on additive manufacturing, organic light-emitting diode process development and deployment and roll-to-roll processing, among other processes.