Mr Desmond Choo: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry in view of the United States-imposed restrictions on sales of semiconductor products to China from 7 October 2022 (a) what has been the impact on the semiconductor industry in Singapore; and (b) whether, and, if so, how is the Ministry supporting the industry in building up its resilience to geopolitical tensions.
Oral Answer (to be attributed to Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan)
1. The latest US export controls announced on 7 October 2022 are aimed at restricting China’s access to specific types of advanced semiconductor chips, especially those with wide application in artificial intelligence and supercomputing. While these measures are not targeted at Singapore, our semiconductor sector could still be impacted, since semiconductor supply chains are highly complex and globalised. Many semiconductor companies operating in Singapore have manufacturing processes and products that rely on US technology, which may be subject to export controls imposed by the US government.
2. While Singapore and our companies cannot be completely sheltered from geopolitical tensions, we can mitigate the risks by ensuring that we remain a stable, trusted and well-connected location for companies to do business. We are also working with our companies to strengthen their business continuity plans and diversify their supply chains. We will also pursue the strategies we announced at the launch of our Electronics and Precision Engineering Industry Transformation Maps earlier this week. These include anchoring investments from leading global companies, doubling down on R&D investments in emerging semiconductor technologies, and deepening our talent pipeline. Collectively, these will enhance Singapore’s relevance in global semiconductor supply chains and strengthen our resilience against any shocks.