The best prospects sectors for Singapore include electronic components, aircraft and parts, electronics industry production/testing equipment, laboratory and scientific instruments, pollution control equipment, electric power systems, construction equipment and building products, pumps and valves, medical devices, telecommunication equipment and computer hardware and software, university education services and franchising. CLICK on the links below for market information on some of the sectors.
Singapore’s aerospace industry has maintained a leading position in the Asian market. Growing by an average of 12% since 1990 and generating an output of more than $6.9 billion in 2012, the aerospace industry is a key economic driver for Singapore.
As a convenient one-stop center for all aircraft maintenance needs, with a full range of MRO services and a large precision engineering suppliers base, Singapore’s MRO cluster has captured about 25% of the Asia-Pacific MRO market. Going forward, besides strengthening the MRO cluster, the aerospace manufacturing and R&D segments will also be further developed. Products designed and manufactured in Singapore include engine casings, engine gears, valves, seat actuators, electrical power systems and galley equipment, among others.
Demand for business aviation is expected to grow, fuelled by Singapore’s growth as a global city and an increase in air traffic movements in and out of Singapore. Works have already begun to expand Seletar Airport and enhance its infrastructure to support its development into a leading business aviation airport. Upon completion in 2018, the upgraded Seletar Airport will greatly enhance its services to the business and commercial aviation community.
Air traffic growth for the Asia-Pacific region is expected to stay ahead of the global average, underpinned by demand in fast growing China and India. Singapore is particularly well-equipped to capture the demand from aviation-related services from this market given its MRO hub status, which will translate into greater opportunities for American suppliers to sell to this lucrative market.
Singapore has become one of the most important shipping centers in Asia and is one of the world’s top five oil trading and refining hubs. In addition, Singapore is the market leader for floating production, storage and offloading (FPSOs) conversions and jack-up rigs. Underground caverns for oil storage and a liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal are also being expanded in phases to enhance Singapore’s position as the premier regional center for the oil & gas industry. Despite global economic uncertainty and fluctuating oil prices, the growth and imports are expected to be promising over the next 12 months due to increase oil & gas exploration.
Singapore’s Research, Innovation & Enterprise (RIE) 2015 plan targets to develop Singapore into one of the world’s leading research-intensive, innovative and entrepreneurial economies. Developing deep R&D capabilities continues to remain a key priority. Under this plan, Singapore plans on spending 3.5% of GDP on R&D. According to A*STAR’s (Agency for Science, Technology & Research) latest R&D survey, public expenditure on R&D has steadily increased over the past ten years, reaching $2.25 billion in 2012 or 0.8% of GDP while R&D by local private companies increased by $144 million to $1.04 billion.
Five years ago, the government injected approximately $29 million into developing medical technology and devices that could be brought to market faster. In 2000, when Singapore began its push into the biomedical sciences, the medical technology industry was worth $1.2 billion. By 2008, its manufacturing output was worth $2.3 billion and it is expected that by 2015, it will hit $4 billion. Eleven years into Singapore’s biomedical sciences push, the sector has also grown into a sizeable stable of almost 300 companies and businesses including over 30 global medical technology companies that have set up commercial-scale manufacturing plants in Singapore.
The United States continues to dominate in the area of laboratory and scientific equipment and accounts for approximately 35% of total imports. Total imports from the U.S. marginally increased by 2.4% in 2013. This corresponds with a 3.4% increase in total overall imports. There is a strong preference for American manufactured products, particularly in the field of laboratory equipment and scientific instrumentation. With Singapore’s strong and keen focus across a broad spectrum of industry, such as precision engineering, chemicals, and biomedical sciences to name a few, exports of American laboratory and scientific equipment is expected to remain constant.
Telecommunications and Internet facilities in Singapore are state-of-the-art, providing high-quality communications with the rest of the world. For mobile phone users, third generation (3G) networks and services were rolled out in early 2005. Since 2011, the telecom operators progressively launched 4G or long term evolution (LTE) mobile networks.
There are three main mobile telephony providers, 13 mobile virtual network operators or MVNOs and 79 Internet Services Providers in Singapore. The mobile penetration rate was 156.3% in March 2014. Household residential wired broadband penetration rate was 105.6% while wireless broadband penetration rate was 184.8%. Internet users can register for an account and go online for free with Wireless@SG, a wireless broadband service that offers access speeds of up to 2Mbp at Wi-Fi hot spots island-wide in public places such as shopping malls, town centers and the business district. http://www.ida.gov.sg/Infocomm-Landscape/Infrastructure/Wireless
More than 95% of homes and offices in Singapore have access to the new, ultra high speed, all-fiber Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN) offering broadband speeds of up to 1 Gbps. Besides a nationwide broadband network infrastructure, Singapore is well connected by multiple satellite and submarine cable systems with more than 119.4 terabits per second (Tbps) of potential capacity supporting international and regional telecoms connectivity. It has more than 2.18 terabits per second (Tbps) of international internet bandwidth connectivity to economies such as the US, China, Japan, India, as well as some countries in Europe and ASEAN. Telecom statistics can be found at:
The harsh realities of climate change and pollution have spurred on the momentum of the Government of Singapore and many companies here to find and adopt environmentally-friendly services and solutions for implementation. In particular, Singapore has placed great emphasis in developing the clean technology sector which includes the fields of clean energy, and environment and water.
A holistic blueprint is already in place to grow the clean energy industry with US$280 million of public funds. Its initiatives include the US$40 million Clean Energy Research Program (CERP) set up to support R&D efforts as well as a US$50 million MND Research Fund for the Built Environment managed by the Building and Construction Authority.
The water industry has also been identified as a key growth sector for Singapore’s economy. The industry is one that Singapore has a vested interest in, given its national emphasis on water management. An additional US$264 million has been committed to develop R&D and manpower capabilities with the aim of positioning Singapore as a Global Hydrohub – an international center to develop and provide water technologies and solutions. The water industry is expected to triple its value-added to the Singapore economy to US$1.36 billion by 2015.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Singapore’s healthcare system ranks sixth globally and offers the 4th best healthcare infrastructure in the world. It also serves as the healthcare and medical hub of the region and is arguably Asia’s best healthcare system. The Joint Commission International (JCI) has accredited 11 Singapore hospitals and three medical centers. Each year, it draws over 350,000 patients with its high-quality healthcare. The government spends approximately 4% of GDP annually on healthcare and there are long run plans to raise this to 8% of GDP. Healthcare spending is expected to reach $6.2 billion in 2015. The government’s projected healthcare spending is expected to triple to $9.45 billion a year by 2020, up from $3.2 billion in 2011. A survey by Swiss Re, a Swiss based insurance provider, in 2013 found that Singaporeans are among the best prepared for future health expenses among five countries in Asia. It reported that 74% of working adults are prepared for post-retirement health expenditures, which puts Singapore higher than Hong Kong, China, Japan and South Korea.
In 2013, imports of medical equipment and supplies to Singapore decreased marginally over the previous year. This can be attributed to a sharper increase in imports the previous year due to increased spending associated with the establishment of new hospitals and healthcare facilities. U.S. imports, however, grew by 22% over the previous year and accounted for 38.5% of market share, a 7% increase in market share over 2012.
Based on available trade figures for 2012 and 2013, U.S. exports of medical equipment to Singapore will continue to be healthy and positive in 2014. This is attributed primarily to the nature of the healthcare industry as well as the premium and goodwill that American brands enjoy in this sector. As regional economies enjoy higher economic growth and improvements in healthcare standards and delivery, transshipments through Singapore will increase. At present, approximately 40% of products imported into Singapore are subsequently re-exported.
Medical devices are regulated under the Health Products Act and Health Products (Medical Devices) regulations. Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority (HSA) oversees the system of statutory control aimed to safeguard the quality, safety and efficacy of medical devices available in Singapore. Almost all medical devices are regulated. Class A medical devices supplied in a non-sterile state are exempted, however, Class A sterile, Class B, C and D medical devices are subject to product registration requirements. Classification rules are adopted from the guidance developed by the Global Harmonization Task Force (GHTF).
According to the 13th edition of the Global Information Technology report published by Business School Insead, “Singapore has become one of the most knowledge-intensive economies globally, and is an infocomm technology-genenration powerhouse.” It ranked Singapore second in using infocomm technology to improve economic productivity and social development. Singapore also topped the 2013 Waseda University World e-Government Ranking and was ranked second in the World Economic Forum’s Global IT Report 2013.
Many top IT companies have made Singapore a key node in their global network, a strong testament to the country’s strategic position as a global info-communications hub. With the successful rollout of its 10 year IT Master Plan called IN2015, the Singapore government is now seeking to develop a Master Plan for the Infocomm and media (ICM) sectors for the next 10 years. Its goal is to establish Singapore as a Smart Nation that leads the world in tapping the potential of ICM that nurtures innovative talent and enterprises and contribute to a better quality of life for its people as well as a sustainable and quality growth for the country.
Latest available data showed that computer usage amongst all enterprises increased by 1% to 84% in 2012. Internet usage increased to 84% while 80% of enterprises used broadband access. Data on info-communications usage by individuals, household and enterprises can be found at http://www.ida.gov.sg/Infocomm-Landscape/Facts-and-Figures.aspx
Singapore emphasizes, supports and values higher education as well as human resource development and skills upgrading. Many government agencies and private sector companies also offer full scholarships for top students to pursue their undergraduate and graduate studies in foreign universities, including in the United States. More and more adult workers are also encouraged to upgrade themselves to be more knowledgeable in a globalized economy.
Please feel free to contact us directly if you have questions:
Ms. CHIA Swee Hoon, Senior Commercial Specialist
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY/BUSINESS SERVICES - (telecommunications equipment & services; computers, peripherals & software (home, office); information services; media services; film and media technology & services; advertising & public relations services; franchising; management consulting; legal services; leasing services; employment services; investment services; financial & insurance services; audio equipment, films & video; photographic equipment & supplies),
ENTERTAINMENT VENUES - Casinos/Theme Parks
NG Haw Cheng, Commercial Specialist
BUILDING/CONSTRUCTION(construction equipment and supplies; building products & equipment; architectural/construction/engineering services; sanitation equipment & products; cleaning products and services; commercial laundry equipment; cleaners - commercial/industrial; wipes for commercial use; industrial cleaning services; hand/power tools - construction; real estate; interior decoration);
ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION (environmental protection technology - recycling, waste management, pollution control; environmental control services);
SEA/AIR/LAND TRANSPORTATION, (public transport vehicles, rail; ports & shipbuilding; marine technology; automobiles, trucks, vans; automobiles, automotive parts & services; boats and accessories; airport ground support vehicles; air traffic control equipment; aircraft and parts, avionics; safety & security equipment; defense technology & equipment; transportation services; air-conditioning - cold rooms; commercial fishing equipment; commercial vessels & equipment; aircraft maintenance)
CHAN Yiu Kei, Commercial Specialist
MANUFACTURING & TECHNOLOGY - (materials handling; machine/manufacturing tools and metalworking equipment; paper & printing and graphic arts machinery; plastics & plastics production machinery; chemicals & chemical production machinery; textile machinery; general industrial equipment & supplies; materials technology - advanced materials, composite fibers, ceramics; industrial automation/robotics; industrial process controls; electronic production and test equipment & supplies; electronic components - active/passive, electro-mechanical, sensors; bearings - ball & roller; plant maintenance equipment; hand/power tools - mechanic; hand/power tools - metalworking; fasteners - industrial; heaters - commercial/industrial; heating equipment - industrial; leather processing equipment; rolling mill machinery; rubber products - industrial),
EDUCATION/TRAINING - (educational & training services),
POWER/UTILITIES - utilities; energy - electricity, wind, solar, gas, etc; power generation & distribution; power transmission; pumps, valves, compressors; mechanical power transmission product; smelting equipment; hardware - milled non-ferrous, ferrous),
TRAVEL & TOURISM
Ms. Luanne THESEIRA, Commercial Specialist
HEALTH/MEDICAL/SCIENTIFIC - (dental equipment; medical equipment, supplies, furniture; healthcare services; drugs and pharmaceuticals; vitamins/minerals supplements, health foods; biotechnology; veterinary equipment & supplies; general science & technology; bio-medical equipment maintenance; laboratory and scientific instruments);
CONSUMER GOODS & SERVICES - (apparel; jewelry; leather, fur and footwear; home textiles, fabrics, yarns, textiles & textile products; household consumer goods; giftware, stationery; office and school equipment & supplies; do-it-yourself products/tools; retailing; cosmetics & toiletries; spa equipment/beauty salon equipment & accessories; eyewear; sporting goods, golf, fitness; equestrian goods and outdoor equipment; toys and games; musical instruments; books and periodicals; artwork; pet supplies gardening tools and supplies);
FOOD PROCESSING, PACKING & SERVICES - (processed food; food processing & packaging machinery and equipment; hotel & restaurant equipment; beverage technology; food vending machines, agriculture and forestry machinery; agriculture services; furniture; hotel & restaurant management).