Singapore likely to attract up to $10 billion of investments in 2018, but with fewer jobs created: EDB

The 2017 investment figures reflect continued confidence in Singapore as a business location, said EDB managing director Chng Kai Fong. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore is expected to attract $8 billion to $10 billion in fixed asset investments in 2018, comparable to the previous two years, the Singapore Economic Development Board said at its year-in-review briefing on Tuesday (Jan 30).

But the number of jobs this will generate is forecast to be lower than in the past two years, with 16,000 to 18,000 new jobs expected.

In 2017, Singapore attracted $9.4 billion in fixed asset investments, within the EDB's forecast of $8 billion to $10 billion for that year. When fully implemented, these projects will generate 22,500 new jobs, exceeding the original forecast of 19,000 to 21,000 new jobs. They are expected to contribute $17.2 billion in value-added per annum.

The 2017 investment figures reflect continued confidence in Singapore as a business location, said EDB managing director Chng Kai Fong at the briefing.

Since 2008, inbound investments have generated more than 20,000 new jobs each year except for in 2014 and 2015, which saw 18,600 and 16,800 jobs added respectively.

The lower expected number of jobs in 2018 reflects the slowing growth of the local workforce, as well as the kind of jobs generated - higher-skilled, higher value jobs in higher-technology industries, said Mr Chng.

These jobs are expected to be in areas such as advanced manufacturing and the digital sector.

EDB chairman Beh Swan Gin noted that the digital sector has been a major driver of investment and new jobs, not just with digital firms setting up here, but with "traditional" companies locating their digital hubs in Singapore too.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.