Prospects for Singapore semiconductor industry very bright, says Chan Chun Sing

In the first six months of 2020, the semiconductor industry's output increased 1.7 per cent year on year.
In the first six months of 2020, the semiconductor industry's output increased 1.7 per cent year on year.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore's electronics sector in general and the semiconductor industry in particular have outperformed other segments of the economy, and they are likely to continue to offer more job opportunities.

Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said the semiconductor industry has continued to grow steadily and the sector has very bright prospects in the coming years.

In the first nine months of the year, Singapore's electronics sector as a whole has recorded more than $5.7 billion in fixed assets investment and more than $376 million in total business expenditure.

These investments will create about 1,100 jobs when they are fully realised over the next three to five years, on top of the employment opportunities created by the sector so far this year, the minister said at a press conference on Monday (Oct 19).

According to the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), over 130 companies in the electronics industry have offered more than 2,800 opportunities since April - 1,880 are jobs and the rest are attachments and training opportunities. Almost all of the job roles offered were for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs), it said.

Mr Chan said: "I can confidently say the many good jobs that we have in the semiconductor industry would not have been possible if not for the gumption of the previous generation to bring in those good investments into Singapore to establish a foundation for us to have today."

The semiconductor industry's contribution to Singapore's gross domestic product has increased from less than 1 per cent in 1990 to 6.9 per cent in 2019, he added.

In the first six months of 2020, the semiconductor industry's output increased 1.7 per cent year on year, even as the overall economy suffered its worst-ever recession.

"This is indeed a crisis of a generation, but we have every chance to turn this into an opportunity of a generation," said Mr Chan.

He said that if Singapore plays its cards right, if it provides the kind of environment where it can serve different markets, even in a bifurcating or fragmenting world, it can turn the Covid-19 crisis into an opportunity for the country.