Pact scheme helps offset costs for manufacturing solutions provider

Enhancements to the Pact scheme will further support companies in Singapore's precision engineering sector and help the sector grow. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Finding partnerships, developing new capabilities and qualifying suppliers can be difficult and costly for firms.

But the enhancements to the Pact scheme will further support companies in Singapore's precision engineering sector, which will help the whole sector grow, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said on Monday (Nov 16).

One of the beneficiaries of this scheme is laser-based manufacturing solutions provider Electro Scientific Industries (ESI) Singapore.

ESI was acquired by manufacturing instrument provider MKS Instruments last year - and now forms a division within the company - with an eye to strengthening its offerings in the photonics, optics and laser processing markets.

Under the Pact scheme, the Government reimbursed 30 per cent of the supplier qualification costs for material and manpower for both ESI Singapore and participating suppliers.

"This very important funding has helped to offset the cost of developing and qualifying new suppliers, as well as improving overall product lead-times," said ESI director Richard Tan.

Mr Tan, who is also MKS Instruments' vice-president for global operations of the equipment and solutions division, added that the scheme helps the sector by enabling Singaporean teams to participate in and develop new and innovative solutions for the market.

"This programme also encourages companies to develop local sourcing. Developing dual or second sourcing can help mitigate supply chain risks, which we have seen due to the Covid-19 outbreak," Mr Tan said.

"It also helps to strengthen the technical capabilities and knowledge of local Singapore companies through partnering overseas companies, which can help lift the Singapore economy."

He added that the sector outlook remains rosy, as markets for semiconductors continue to grow, keeping demand strong for the manufacturing equipment and solutions that MKS Instruments and ESI offer.

This demand is driven by long-term trends such as the growth of 5G-enabled technologies and is related to up-and-coming concepts like the Internet of Things, smart cities, and autonomous vehicles. Another driver is the shift to laser-based manufacturing, Mr Tan added.

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