Dr. Christoph von Plotho, CEO, Siltronic
Ladies and gentlemen,
1. Good Afternoon. I am excited to join you at today’s groundbreaking ceremony for Siltronic’s new 300mm wafer manufacturing facility here in JTC’s Tampines Wafer Fab Park.
2. Siltronic first began production in Singapore in 1999. Fast forward 22 years and Singapore is now the company’s largest manufacturing base, accounting for a major part of its production.
3. Siltronic has been an important industry partner for Singapore. This latest S$3 billion investment follows preceding substantial investments the company has made over the past years. This new state-of-the-art facility, which represents Siltronic’s biggest investment in its history, will create 600 good jobs. Siltronic will also adopt a high degree of automation at its new fab. This will allow employees to upgrade and upskill to take on higher value-added tasks. Moreover, Siltronic’s partnerships with the local ecosystem of suppliers, contractors, and service providers will also generate additional business opportunities and investments for Singapore.
ANCHORING SINGAPORE’S ROLE IN THE SEMICONDUCTOR INDUSTRY GLOBALLY
4. With this facility, Singapore will be one of the largest suppliers of high-end silicon substrates globally. This investment will not only enable us to chip in and help meet the global surge in demand for semiconductor products, but more importantly, serve to strengthen the local semiconductor ecosystem and our overall supply chain resilience. In particular, as the only silicon wafer manufacturer in Singapore, Siltronic plays a key role in augmenting this complex semiconductor value chain.
5. Indeed, while silicon wafers might look unremarkable, they are central to the technologies around us. They serve as the starting material for many of the products that foundries manufacture. These “Made in Tampines” Siltronic wafers will go into some of the most advanced semiconductors produced by companies such as Intel, Samsung and TSMC. These products will go on to power everything from data centres that form the backbone of the digital economy to energy-efficient mobile and computing devices.
6. To ensure that Singapore remains competitive globally, we must continually develop new initiatives to support the industry. JTC announced the enhancements of its four wafer fab parks in Singapore earlier this year. Here in Tampines, new covered walkways and cycling paths will help improve overall accessibility and connectivity by 2023. These initiatives will help contribute to an even more vibrant and attractive work environment.
AN IMPORTANT STEP TOWARDS MANUFACTURING 2030
7. MTI announced in January this year that Singapore’s goal is to be a global business, innovation, and talent hub for advanced manufacturing. The electronics industry in Singapore is already the largest manufacturing sub-sector today, contributing to close to 7 percent of our overall gross domestic product (GDP). This sizeable investment will bring us one step closer to achieving that goal.
8. This would mean more job opportunities – be it engineers, managers or researchers – for Singaporeans too. The semiconductor industry employs over 33,000 people, and we expect this number to increase by around 1,700 within the next 5 years. We are committed to ensuring that our talent pipelines are robust and will continue to support the needs of the sector in the years to come.
9. I am happy to note that Siltronic’s new facility will not only enable us to achieve our goals of generating economic growth and creating good jobs, but it also strengthens Singapore’s R&D ecosystem through investments in developing additional epitaxy capabilities in Singapore. These new capabilities will complement Singapore’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 (RIE2025) plan, and deepen Singapore’s technical know-how in the semiconductor space.
ENHANCING OUR STRONG BILATERAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GERMANY
10. Siltronic’s investment is one of the many examples of the excellent economic partnership between Germany and Singapore. To date, there are more than 2,000 German companies operating in Singapore, across key sectors such as chemicals, engineering, and electronics. With strong presence across these industries, it is unsurprising that Germany remains our largest goods trading partner and fourth largest services trading partner in the EU.
11. Germany and Singapore continue to explore new ways to deepen bilateral cooperation. In October last year, Enterprise Singapore and the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA) signed an agreement to support enterprise development through transformation in sectors of common interests such as advanced manufacturing, digitalization and innovation, medical technology and healthcare, and the future of mobility. To facilitate travel and business relations, the Germany-Singapore Vaccinated Travel Lane, which started on 8 September this year, was among the first to be set up.
12. I am heartened to see German companies’ continued interests in deepening their ties with Singapore and Singaporean companies, and take advantage of our strong connectivity to the rest of Asia. Such partnerships allow us to work together towards a strong and resilient post-COVID recovery.
13. To conclude, I would like to thank Siltronic for this vote of confidence in Singapore. We do not take for granted the trust that investors place in us and we will continue to work with firms like Siltronic to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. I look forward to the opening of this facility, and to the contributions that it will have to Singapore’s economy. We look forward to an even stronger partnership with Germany in the years to come.
14. Thank you.