Singapore seeks to be part of new global value chains: Tharman

The Republic is poised to be part of new global value chains in manufacturing amid a technological revolution, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said yesterday.

Mr Tharman said at the launch in Tampines of a new manufacturing research and development centre for American electronics firm Jabil that emerging technologies are shortening many value chains and letting products be made closer to the customers.

"This manufacturing revolution is both challenge and opportunity for Singapore," he said. "We are positioning ourselves to be part of this revolution, and to be part of the new global value chains."

This would involve not only being where cutting-edge goods such as biosensors are made, but also supporting the high-value activities that accompany manufacturing - from research and development and data analytics to intellectual property protection and logistics management.

Being well placed to ride the wave also means Singapore workers must "develop deep skills as well as to continuously augment our skills", Mr Tharman added.

POISED TO RIDE THE WAVE

This manufacturing revolution is both challenge and opportunity for Singapore.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER THARMAN SHANMUGARATNAM

Jabil's new facility, which is set to be fully operational by 2020, is the company's fourth such innovation hub worldwide and its first in Asia.

The other Blue Sky Centres, as they have been dubbed, are in San Jose, California, and Clinton, Massachusetts, and Tortosa in Spain.

The Singapore centre will focus on additive manufacturing, organic light-emitting diode process development and deployment and roll-to-roll processing, among other processes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2017, with the headline 'S'pore 'seeks to be part of new global value chains''. Print Edition | Subscribe