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.
With over 100 companies offering a comprehensive range of aerospace design and manufacturing services as well as Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services, Singapore is the leading Asian aerospace hub with the greatest number of aerospace Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) present. Singapore has also captured over 20% of the Asia-Pacific MRO market and has established a leading position as a convenient one-stop location for all aircraft maintenance needs.
Leading local players such as ST Aerospace and SIA Engineering Company Ltd offer comprehensive nose-to-tail airframe MRO services and are among the top 5 Airframe MROs in the world in 2008 based on the total airframe man-hours by the corporate entities. Singapore is also host to major engine overhaul centers, with all three engine OEM majors (GE Aviation, Pratt & Whitney and Roll Royce) represented.
Employing over 18,000 people and with a compounded annual growth rate of 12% since 1990, Singapore’s aerospace industry is an integral economic driver. In 2009, the industry recorded revenues of nearly US$5.0 billion.
Singapore has become one of the most important shipping centers in Asia and is one of the world’s top three oil trading and refining hubs. A total crude oil refining capacity of more than 1.35 million barrels per day (bbl/d) now is expected to increase to 1.8bbl/d when a new refinery comes on stream in 3-5 years time. 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 built to enhance Singapore’s position as the premier regional center for the oil & gas industry. However, combined output from the petro-chemical sectors was only valued at close to US$33 billion due to the recent economic crisis but this is expected to gradually increase with the rebounding global economy and sharp rise in oil prices.
The United States continues to dominate in the area of laboratory and scientific equipment and accounts for approximately 38% of total market share. Total imports of laboratory and scientific equipment rebounded in 2010, picking up momentum after the 2009 global market slowdown. Imports from the United States increased by a significant 50% from 2009, with 38% market share, up from 35% in 2009. There is a strong preference for American manufactured products and equipment, particularly in the field of laboratory equipment and instrumentation. Given the improvements in the economy in 2010, the total import of laboratory and scientific equipment also correspondingly grew.
This sector will see continual growth as the Singapore government has pledged S$12.88 billion to support R&D in Singapore from 2011 to 2015 under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2015 plan, with the primary aim of achieving total gross expenditure on R&D of 3.5% of GDP by 2015.
Singapore is one of the most wired countries in the world, with a nation-wide network of fiber optic cables. It is building a super high-speed fiber optic broadband network called the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (NGNBN) that will provide access speed of 1 gigabits per second (Gbps) or more. As of end-2010, 60% of homes and offices have access to the new, ultra high-speed, all-fiber Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (NGBN). By mid-2012, 95% of the country will have access to the NGNBN. Besides a nationwide broadband network infrastructure, Singapore is well connected by multiple satellite and submarine cable systems with more than 67 terabits per second of potential capacity supporting international and regional telecoms connectivity. It has more than 830 Gbps of international internet bandwidth connectivity to economies such as the US, China, Japan, India, as well as some countries in Europe and ASEAN.
As Singapore’s population and economy grow, the Government is not only diversifying its water supplies but also planning ahead for wastewater management. This led to on-going programs to develop various wastewater reclamation and desalination projects. Among other projects, the ABC (Active, Beautiful, Clean) Waters Program is an initiative by the Public Utilities Board to transform Singapore’s concrete drains, canals and reservoirs into beautiful and clean streams, rivers and lakes teeming with vibrancy. 27 projects have been identified to be carried out over the next 5 years. As at Jan 2011, Tenders for 16 projects were called. The works include construction of infrastructures, water features, landscaping and other amenities.
Under the Singapore Green Plan 2012 (SGP 2012), the country’s environmental policy, Singapore has put in place a holistic blueprint to grow the Cleantech industry. The SGP 2012 also incorporates plans for reduction of waste volumes through waste minimization and recycling; reduction of the amount of land for sewage treatment; strict emission standards; and tougher vehicular emission controls.
Singapore serves as the healthcare and medical hub of the region, drawing over 350,000 patients a year with its high-quality healthcare. It is considered one of the world’s leading medical travel destinations and its healthcare system is ranked sixth worldwide. Singapore’s healthcare services are comparable to those of other industrialized economies. The government spends approximately 3.8% of GDP annually on healthcare and there are plans to raise this to US$1.37 billion a year in the next few years.
In 2010, import of medical equipment and supplies to Singapore registered an increase of 22% from 2009. This is likely due to the recovery of the economy and the pent-up demand from major healthcare institutions that may have held back purchases during the economic downturn. Correspondingly, total import from the United States grew by over 25% from 2009, representing 30% of the Singapore market.
Based on available trade figures for 2009 and 2010, market expectations for 2011 are that U.S exports of medical equipment to Singapore will continue to hold steady due to the nature of the healthcare industry. Overall, healthcare delivery in Singapore and the region is expected to see improvements as medical care is still considered a necessity. This should translate into a steady stream of transshipments through Singapore as the island-state is viewed as a major trade hub and launching pad for products into the region.
Medical devices are regulated under the Health Products Act. Singapore’s Health Science Authority (HSA), through its Centre for Medical Devices Regulation (CMDR), oversees the system of statutory control aimed to safeguard the quality, safety and efficacy of medical devices available in Singapore. All medical devices, from high-risk stents for heart surgery to low-risk ones like mechanical wheelchairs, are licensed.
The information technology sector is a key contributor to Singapore’s economy. Information technology has greatly enhanced the country’s competitiveness by raising productivity and transforming business processes. In 2010, Singapore was ranked second in the World Economic Forum’s Global IT Report, and eighth in the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) e-Readiness Ranking. It was ranked ninth in the EIU Benchmarking IT industry Competitiveness in 2009. Many top IT companies have made Singapore a key node in their global network, a strong testament of the country’s strategic position to be a global info-communications hub.
Latest available data showed that in 2009, 95% of Singaporean households with school-going children had access to a home computer while 83% of resident Singaporean households had access to a computer at home. Eighty-one percent of households had home Internet access and most of those households are connected to the Internet via broadband. Computer usage amongst all enterprises increased slightly to reach 78% in 2009. Details on info-communications usage in households and by individuals as well as enterprises can be found at http://www.ida.gov.sg/Publications/20061205092557.aspx
Singapore-based electronics manufacturers account for 11% global market share for semiconductor wafer foundry output and 25% global market share for printers. The world’s top three wafer foundry companies, top three sub-contract assembly-and-test companies, and top four fabless IC design companies all have facilities in Singapore. Electronic components for these plants are imported and integrated into products such as mobile phones, digital cameras, hand-held tablets, music players, game consoles and televisions which are then mainly exported.
Singapore’s manufacturing sector has emerged as a regional economic powerhouse, contributing at least 22% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). A large component of this sector - electronics - has attracted substantial foreign investments as well as value-added output and employment, contributing close to 30% of the manufacturing output. Of the US$8 billion in fixed assets investments in 2009, electronics accounted for slightly more than 40% but manufacturing output was more than US$41 billion for the sector.
Singapore emphasizes, supports and values higher education and human resource development. 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.
Singapore is home to more than 400 franchise concepts. Foreign franchises are well received and the United States is by far the largest supplier of foreign franchises in the country. There are American franchises in practically every industry. McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, Subway, Starbucks, Ben and Jerrys, Gymboree, New Horizons, Mister Minit, Avis, Toys R Us, On-line Trading Academy, Comfort Keepers, Contours Express, and many others have operations in Singapore. In 2009, several F&B concepts from the U.S. started operations here including Marble Slab and Froots. After many years of absence, several U.S. franchises also made a comeback in 2009 including: Wendy’s, Dunkin’ Doughnut, Chili’s, and TGIF. In 2010, Applebee’s opened an outlet in Singapore and several other U.S. franchises including Cold Stone Creamery will open in 2011.
Sales turnover of franchises in Singapore amounted to US$5.7 billion in 2008 (latest available data), according to the Franchising and Licensing Association of Singapore. Foreign franchises are estimated to account for 70% of franchise sales in the country. However, local franchise concepts have grown rapidly over the past few years and many of the larger ones are franchising abroad in Asia and several have opened outlets in the United States.
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).