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EDB expects Singapore to attract S$8b to S$10b in fixed asset investment in 2019

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Despite slowing global growth, Singapore is expected to attract S$8 billion to S$10 billion in fixed asset investments (FAI) in 2019, in line with previous years, EDB said at its year-in-review briefing on Thursday.

DESPITE slowing global growth, the Republic is expected to attract S$8 billion to S$10 billion in fixed asset investments (FAI) in 2019, in line with previous years, the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) said at its year-in-review briefing on Thursday.

This is expected to generate some 16,000 to 18,000 jobs, in line with 2018's prediction but a step down from 2017.

Although 2019 is fraught with global uncertainties, "investment decisions are generally made over the longer-term" and the EDB expects investment commitment numbers to be sustained in the coming year, said EDB managing director Chng Kai Fong.

The EDB will focus on five priorities for 2019, "or indeed the next three to five years", said Mr Chng: Asean, advanced manufacturing, digital, innovation, and growing new industry clusters such as mobility. 

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On the digital front, this is not restricted to technology firms but extends across industries, with firms from sectors such as finance, healthcare, logistics and consumer having set up digital centres of excellence here, said assistant managing director Kiren Kumar. He added that the jobs created in such centres are not just for programmers or similar "technologists", but also for those in creative fields and broader "strategists".

In 2018, Singapore attracted S$10.9 billion in fixed asset investments, exceeding the EDB's forecast of S$8 billion to S$10 billion for that year, and also higher than 2017's figure of S$9.4 billion.

When fully implemented, these projects will create 17,400 new jobs, within the original forecast of 16,000 to 18,000 new jobs, and are expected to contribute S$13.6 billion in value-added per annum. Total business expenditure expected per annum is S$6.2 billion.

The electronics industry remained the top source of investment commitments in 2018, with almost S$3.09 billion in FAI secured.

Infocommunications and media came in second with almost S$2 billion, and research and development (R&D) third with S$1.58 billion. The R&D sector was also the top source of jobs, with an estimated 3,872 jobs expected to be created.