Singapore's factory future

The Republic wants to grow its manufacturing sector by 50 per cent by 2030. What are the factors that can pave the way to success - or scupper its chances? Insight reports.

GlobalFoundries' cleanroom in Woodlands. While manufacturing still conjures up the image of dirty work environments for most, many producers now operate in cleanrooms and have highly automated facilities. An automated stocker system in Soitec's Singa
An automated stocker system in Soitec’s Singapore facility, which stores wafers and is at full capacity. The French-headquartered semiconductor company, which employs around 190 people here, partners with government agencies, other players in the sector and institutes of higher learning to develop industry knowledge. PHOTO: SOITEC/TOMOYA FUJIMOTO
GlobalFoundries' cleanroom in Woodlands. While manufacturing still conjures up the image of dirty work environments for most, many producers now operate in cleanrooms and have highly automated facilities. An automated stocker system in Soitec's Singa
GlobalFoundries’ cleanroom in Woodlands. While manufacturing still conjures up the image of dirty work environments for most, many producers now operate in cleanrooms and have highly automated facilities. PHOTO: GLOBALFOUNDRIES SINGAPORE

Sit in any train or bus and you will soon notice Singaporeans' attraction to their mobile phones, but the connection goes far deeper than merely the use of an integral tool.

The phone itself is ringing testament to the power of the country's manufacturing sector, which punches far above its weight for a land-scarce nation.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 20, 2021, with the headline 'Singapore's factory future'. Subscribe