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Singapore angling itself to be part of new, shorter global value chains in manufacturing: DPM Tharman

L-R Mr Erich Hoch, Executive VP and CEO, Jabil Digital Solutions, GoH DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Mr Forbes Alexander, CFO, Jabil, Chng Kai Fong, MD, Singapore EDB.jpg
From left: Erich Hoch, executive vice-pPresident and CEO, Jabil Digital Solutions; guest of honour DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam; Forbes Alexander, chief financial officer, Jabil; and Chng Kai Fong, managing director, Singapore, EDB, “throw” digital paper planes in a symbolic gesture to launch the Jabil Blue Sky Singapore Innovation Centre.

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

He was speaking at the launch in Tampines of a new manufacturing research and development centre for American electronics company Jabil.

Mr Tharman noted 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.

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"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 that Singapore workers must "develop deep skills as well as to continuously augment our skills", Mr Tharman added.

Jabil's new facility here, 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 in the United States 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.