Examine root of why MNCs pull out of Singapore

The news that Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis is moving a key research facility out of Singapore seems disconcerting ("Novartis moving research facility out of Singapore"; Wednesday).

The Economic Development Board provides benefits to multinational corporations (MNCs) to set up shop in Singapore. Benefits range from research incentives to tax breaks, training grants, land productivity grants and a plethora of incentives.

In return, these MNCs commit fixed asset investments and create jobs, adding to economic multiplier effects.

However, over the years, we've seen MNCs pulling out of Singapore.

What are some of the reasons they do so? Is it purely due to the economic downturn?

Do they pull out once the incentives are used up?

Tan Kar Quan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 07, 2016, with the headline 'Examine root of why MNCs pull out of Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe