Singapore to attract $10b to $12b of investments this year, less than last year

Companies invested $12.1 billion in Singapore last year but the Republic is likely to attract a lower amount of capital this year.

The Economic Development Board (EDB) said on Tuesday it expects $10 billion to $12 billion of fixed asset investments to flow into Singapore for 2014.

Last year's commitments by corporate investors created 21,400 skilled jobs and will generate $7.8 billion in total business expenditure annually, the EDB said. The investment figures were in line with the agency's forecasts of $11 billion to $13 billion of investments for 2013 and came after a record $16 billion in 2012.

This year, the EDB expects investments that will lead to $6 billion to $7.5 billion of total business expenditure every year and the creation of 14,000 to 16,000 skilled jobs.

EDB chairman Leo Yip said the forecasts for 2014, though more modest than those for the year before, reflect a sustainable level of investments consistent with Singapore's manpower and land planning considerations.

"It's a steady level of investment that is in keeping with where Singapore is in our phase of economic development," he said.

Adding that Singapore's cost structure is becoming more similar to that of advanced economies, Mr Yip said the Republic would have to seek growth from "high value-added and productivity-driven activities".

He added that he was encouraged by the broad base of investments that Singapore has secured in the past year, from large multinationals and medium-sized foreign companies across a wide range of industries.

These included major investments by firms in the biologics and analytics sectors, growth areas in which Singapore is building up capabilities, he said.

Among major investors last year was American firm Medtronic, the world's largest standalone medical device company. It opened its global centre of excellence for business model innovation in Singapore last year to oversee the design, testing and scaling of new business models across Asia.