Singapore secures $2.8b of fixed asset investments in Q1 that are expected to create 3,700 jobs in coming years

Investors from the United States contributed the most to total fixed asset investments in the first quarter. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Singapore drew $2.8 billion in fixed asset investments in the first quarter of this year, with the service sector leading the way.

Some $1.9 billion in total business expenditure was also committed in the first three months of the year, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) in its quarterly economic survey released on Tuesday (May 25).

When fully implemented, these projects are expected to generate $7.5 billion of value-added and create more than 3,700 jobs in the coming years.

Value-added refers to the direct contribution made by a company to gross domestic product and includes components such as wages.

Last year, the Republic attracted a 12-year high of $17.2 billion in fixed asset investments, bolstered by large capital investments from the electronics and chemicals manufacturing clusters.

In the first quarter, the info-communications and media cluster within the service sector garnered $1.1 billion of investments. The chemicals and biomedical manufacturing clusters also drew $753 million and $404 million in investments respectively.

Investors from the United States contributed the most to total fixed asset investments in the same period, followed by those from Europe.

The service clusters also attracted the highest amount of total business expenditure commitments, at $1.7 billion, similarly driven by the info-communications and media cluster. At the same time, the headquarters and professional services cluster, as well as research and development cluster, each accounted for one-fifth of business expenditure drawn.

MTI permanent secretary Gabriel Lim told the media during a virtual briefing on Tuesday that the investments that Singapore is garnering are of the higher value-added type, not just in services but also more sophisticated manufacturing commitments, which are reflected in the higher value-added generated per dollar of fixed asset investments.

Singapore's reasonably strong performance in terms of investment commitments is due to investors' confidence and trust in the country's system, he said.

"At the same time, we are not taking this for granted," Mr Lim stressed, noting that the ministry is seeing some challenges both stemming from the overall global economic picture and other factors.

"In Singapore for example, there are resource constraints. Manpower is definitely much tighter, and increasingly going forward, carbon (constraints) will become more salient in investors' minds."

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