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Speech by MOS Alvin Tan at the SSIA Semiconductor Business Connect 2022

Speech by MOS Alvin Tan at the SSIA Semiconductor Business Connect 2022

Mr Ang Wee Seng, Executive Director, Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association (SSIA)

Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Introduction

1. Good morning. It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association (SSIA) Semiconductor Business Connect 2022.

Strong growth of the semiconductor industry globally and locally

2. Fuelled by new tech applications like 5G, AI, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as strong demand for consumer electronics and digital services during the pandemic, we are seeing continued strong growth of the semiconductor industry both globally and locally.

3. There are shorter-term risks of disruptions to supplies of raw materials and equipment due to the conflict in Ukraine and lockdowns in China. However, the overall outlook for the industry is very positive – the global market for semiconductors is projected to continue growing to reach US$1 trillion over the next decade, which is more than double the size of the semiconductor market in 2021.

4. In Singapore, semiconductor manufacturing contributes more than 80% of our electronics manufacturing output and 7% of our GDP – that is more than the entire information & communications sector, or the professional services sector. Semiconductor continues to be the fastest growing segment of the electronics industry, with output projected to increase 30% year-on-year in 2021.

5. Today, Singapore accounts for 11% of the global semiconductor market, and 20% of global semiconductor equipment is manufactured in Singapore. Our semiconductor industry is poised for further growth, with around 2,000 more jobs expected to be created in the next 3 to 5 years.

Manufacturing 2030: Expanding global chip manufacturing capacity and creating job opportunities

6. As part of Singapore’s Manufacturing 2030 vision to become a global business, innovation, and talent hub for advanced manufacturing, we aim to anchor frontier investments from global companies with specialised capabilities to support our local manufacturing ecosystem.

7. Singapore has recently attracted investments from leading global semiconductor companies such as GlobalFoundries, Siltronic, and UMC. These companies invest here because of our skilled talent, excellent global connectivity, ease of doing business, and well-developed semiconductor research and manufacturing ecosystem. In turn, they further drive the growth of our semiconductor industry and contribute greatly to Singapore’s R&D ecosystem with high value activities.

8. Over the years, Singapore has also been building our capabilities and capacity in the electronics and semiconductor industry to strengthen the role we play in the global supply chain.

a. JTC has developed four Wafer Fab Parks (WFPs) to meet the specific needs of the industry. The WFPs will be rolling out a series of physical enhancements, such as new lifestyle amenities, to create a more vibrant and conducive environment for companies and their employees.

b. In addition, JTC is also building semiconSpace in Tampines Wafer Fab Park, which is a new plug-and-play development that will meet the stringent requirements of semiconductor companies, such as vibration-sensitive flooring. The first phase is targeted to be completed this year.

9. As we grow our semiconductor industry, the Government will continue working with key industry partners and schools to attract more locals to join the manufacturing sector. We will also ensure that our workers have the right skills to benefit from the opportunities in this sector.

10. In March this year, we launched the M2030 Careers Initiative to support companies to develop attractive career options in manufacturing, and make these job opportunities more accessible for locals. We are working closely with the team at SSIA on the measures under this initiative.

a. The Singapore Precision Engineering and Technology Association (SPETA) will work with partners like SSIA and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) to develop the Manufacturing Employer Handbook to help companies develop structured career progression pathways for their employees.

b. We will also partner SSIA and companies to offer high-quality internship opportunities for students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), to spark their interest in joining the manufacturing sector.

Sustainability is critical for the long-term growth of the semiconductor industry

11. Another major priority as we grow the semiconductor industry is sustainability. The semiconductor industry plays a critical role in Singapore’s green transformation. Information and computing technology are projected to consume up to 20% of global energy demand by 2030, with chip manufacturing accounting for most of its carbon footprint. As an industry, we can collectively make an impact on climate change. We must therefore take decisive and concerted actions to embrace sustainability and drive change.

12. The green transformation also presents exciting economic opportunities for semiconductor companies. Companies that are able to reinvent themselves to harness sustainability as a competitive edge can become more efficient, reduce costs, and better meet their shareholders’ and customers’ expectations.

13. The Government will support companies on this journey towards more sustainable practices.

a. Under the Urban Solutions and Sustainability (USS) domain of our S$25 billion Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 (RIE2025) plan, we will support the development and commercialisation of sustainability solutions.

b. Under the Green Economy pillar of the Singapore Green Plan 2030, we aim to strengthen global and regional partners to conduct R&D in green technologies.

Developing strong industry networks to drive collaboration and innovation for sustained growth

14. To remain globally competitive and seize opportunities in the global semiconductor supply chain, companies must come together to seek out new business opportunities. They must also collaborate with suppliers and partners to develop and adopt innovative solutions to become more efficient, productive, and sustainable.

15. Semiconductor Business Connect was introduced last year to strengthen and grow Singapore’s semiconductor ecosystem, through fostering collaboration and facilitating innovation across the industry.
16. The inaugural Business Connect facilitated close to 30 business connections, and I am confident that this year’s event will be even more successful, because participants can now come together face-to-face to conduct business networking.

17. I am also pleased to also hear that SSIA is expanding its Secretariat to better support the semiconductor industry’s growth and expansion into the region. This will provide new impetus to our efforts to help our local companies to grow, develop their workforce, and achieve their sustainability goals.

Closing

18. Let me conclude by reiterating that the Government stands committed to continue growing our electronics semiconductor industry. We will work hand in hand with our partners and companies to bring us closer to realising our Manufacturing 2030 vision.

19. I wish all participants a fruitful day ahead, and I encourage you to explore new partnerships, ideas and innovations at today’s Semiconductor Business Connect 2022. Thank you.

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