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Speech by SMS Koh Poh Koon at the Forum Industrie 4.0 Meets The Industrial Internet

Speech by SMS Koh Poh Koon at the Forum Industrie 4.0 Meets The Industrial Internet

Distinguished Guests, 
Ladies and gentlemen, 

1. It is a real pleasure for me to be here this afternoon. In this age of rapid technological advancements and innovation, machines, devices and computers are no longer just getting more intelligent individually; instead, this increasingly connected network of devices heralds a revolution to the way we produce, work and live. 

2. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will revolutionalise the manufacturing landscape by integrating the physical world into the cyber world. It will affect the entire value chain digitally, from one end to the other. A number of companies, sensing the growth potential, have already begun adopting IIoT by leveraging intelligent, connected devices in their factories. In Singapore, companies like Infineon and Siemens are increasingly using that as a way for their production activities. 
Manufacturing – key pillar
3. Manufacturing has been and will remain a key pillar of Singapore’s economy. Our manufacturing base has grown to become more technology, knowledge and innovation-intensive. We are now the fourth largest exporter of high-technology products to the world, behind China, Germany and US. We have a good reputation for reliable and best-in-class manufacturing, and a strong Intellectual Property (IP) protection regime. For a small country like Singapore, the growth in our manufacturing industry has been about continual capability building and partnership building. 

a) This includes deepening ties with our companies, universities and research institutes all over the world.
b) Today, we boast a strong base of Singapore companies offering state-of-the-art Advanced Manufacturing solutions, and who are ideal co-innovation partners as well. 
A conducive environment for Advanced Manufacturing
4. The Singapore government is committed to developing a conducive environment for the Advanced Manufacturing industry to thrive. We have just launched the Smart Industry Readiness Index Prioritisation Matrix two days ago here at Hannover Messe to help companies prioritise their transformation efforts in areas that will deliver the greatest impact to their business. The Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is also spearheading several public-private partnership platforms to catalyse the innovation, transfer and adoption of Future of Manufacturing (FoM) technologies. We are building a 600-hectare next-generation district, the Jurong Innovation District (JID), to serve as a one-stop campus for advanced manufacturing, and a home to a growing ecosystem of research and development (R&D) institutions, industry enablers, and advanced manufacturing factories. We also have a growing startup ecosystem and have introduced an international startup competition, SLINGSHOT powered by Startup SG and organised by Enterprise Singapore. To ensure that our workers can benefit from the transformations brought about by Industry 4.0, we launched a nation-wide training programme, the SkillsFuture Series for Advanced Manufacturing, which helps companies equip employees with key skillsets needed to succeed in the new paradigm of manufacturing. 

5. So it is about thinking through the whole process of human capabilities, operational processes and technology adoption. We call it the “human-ops-tech” integration roadmap. By bringing together the human part and the technology part, we ensure a seamless integration of technology adoption to unleash the true potential of Industry 4.0. More importantly, we hope this systematic process of bringing workers along the transformation journey will also reduce the risk of worker displacement due to technology. 

6. On top of all these initiatives, we are forging partnerships and collaborations with like-minded partners by hosting the Industrial Transformation ASIA PACIFIC (ITAP) – a first-of-its-kind HANNOVER MESSE event in Asia Pacific. We did the first edition in Singapore last year and we will be hosting it again this year. This will be an ideal platform for leading manufacturers, technology providers and thought leaders to network, exchange ideas and seek new partnerships, especially with suppliers from the ASEAN region. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all of you to Singapore this October to ITAP 2019.
Using Singapore as a Launchpad into ASEAN
7. The European Union is an important partner to Singapore. Likewise, Singapore is also EU’s 15th largest global trading partner and largest ASEAN trading partner. By 2020, ASEAN’s middle class alone is expected to reach 400 million, each with unique and unmet needs. This represents significant growth potential in areas spanning mobility, energy, healthcare and consumer products. During Singapore’s ASEAN Chairmanship last year, we have made further inroads to improve trade facilitation and deepen services and investment integration. Together with our central geographic location and excellent connectivity within the region, Singapore makes an ideal location for companies seeking to expand into ASEAN. The signing of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA) in October last year will help to further improve Singaporean and European companies’ access to each other’s markets, providing a win-win for our investors. 
8. In closing, I would like to thank all our industry partners for your confidence in Singapore over the years. Singapore remains committed to work with you to push the boundaries of technology and innovation. I wish all of you a productive and fruitful discussion ahead. 

9. Thank you.

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