Mr Naresh Narasimhan, President of Pall Corporation
Aaron Rivers, Vice President, Chief Operation Officer, Global Operations, Pall Industrial
Shangaza Dascent. Vice/President/General Manager, Pall Microelectronics
Casey Mace, US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. Good morning.
2. We are here at JTC’s Jurong Industrial Estate for the groundbreaking ceremony of Pall’s new microelectronics filter manufacturing facility in Singapore.
Robust growth in the semiconductor industry
3. Over the last two years, COVID-19 has disrupted many different areas of our life and also the global supply chains. This has now changed, many of you are now without your masks, we have now turned a new chapter in our fight against COVID. COVID has also exposed some challenges to our global supply chains and has also helped us to look at the world with very new lenses. Where to situate, how to situate, what to build and where to build. That means for manufacturing, not a just in time, rather a just in case situation. As Naresh spoke about the global semiconductor industry, we think that the long-term growth prospects are strong. It is one of the more robust industries in a very volatile macroeconomic environment and volatile equity market environment.
4. As Naresh mentioned, 5G, Internet of Things (IoT) cloud computing, and even mobile gaming, many of these require semiconductors and filters to make sure that the semiconductors are clean and that we can use them. That if we do not have these filters, that we will potentially lose some efficiency. It also got me thinking to not underestimate the humble semiconductor and yet also the humble microfilter. Singapore, too you can see in that lens, in the global landscape, we are about 750 square kilometres, and you (Pall) have taken a lot of it. But if we think of this from the perspective of Southeast Asia where there is about half a billion population, quite small in the whole scheme of things, Southeast Asia is like the semiconductor and Singapore is the microfilter. The humble semiconductor and microfilter fuels the new economy. Many of the things we use today, cameras, watches fridges and the likes. We do not underestimate this and are happy that Singapore like the microfilter plays a critical role in the global supply chain, and that in the microelectronics sector, Singapore will also continue to play that role. The global semiconductor market is expected to reach US$1 trillion by 2030.
a. That is more than double its size in 2021, and both Singapore and the world, particularly in Singapore, it presents tremendous growth opportunities.
5. Singapore’s electronics sector has grown with Pall and transformed significantly since its humble beginnings in the 1960s. My father in fact worked in the electronics sector, building disk drives in the 1980s in the factories in Ang Mo Kio.
a. The focus then was on labour-intensive manufacturing and assembly of consumer products such as televisions and transistor radios and also those spindle disk drives. Over the years, and especially in the last two decades, the sector has been completely transformed by the shift towards high-value activities such as semiconductor design and manufacturing.
b. Today, Singapore accounts for 5% of global wafer capacity. The semiconductor industry contributed 80% of our total electronics manufacturing output, and almost 7% of our GDP last year – even more than many other major sectors such as the information & communications sector and the professional services sector.
6. We are determined to build on this momentum and attract new, frontier investments that can extend Singapore’s leadership in this sector and play our part in the world.
a. Last year, leading semiconductor companies such as GlobalFoundaries and UMC announced new manufacturing investments in Singapore. This is on top of many other developments already in Singapore, including Micron for example. This is of course because of testament to their confidence in Singapore’s vibrant semiconductor ecosystem, which comprises players across the value chain, from equipment supplies to assembly and testing.
Pall’s facility will strengthen Singapore’s role in the global semiconductor supply chain
7. One very important player in our ecosystem is Pall Corporation. Over the years, Pall has expanded its footprint in Singapore. Singapore is now its global microelectronics headquarters.
a. In 2020, Pall decided to establish its first-in-Asia additive manufacturing facility and R&D centre here. Although there has been some delay Naresh assured me that, Pall is well on its way.
8. This new facility will further entrench Pall’s presence in Singapore, and add to the vibrancy of our semiconductor system.
a. As you mentioned, Naresh, the first phase of this facility is worth US$100 million investments, and there are plans to expand this facility subsequently. When fully operational, the new site is expected to double Pall’s current installed production capacity and create 300 new jobs in science, engineering, and manufacturing roles.
Singapore’s focus to grow our semiconductor ecosystem
9. We are committed to grow our electronics sector in the coming years. In fact, we have concrete plans to grow and transform the sector. We have built these plans, and this is what we in Government, call Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs). These maps are put together for about 27 industries, including the electronics sector. These are live maps and we are refreshing them. I chair one of the committees to develop to refresh the one for the electronics sector. We have been doing this with or EDB colleagues in collaboration with the industry and Institutes of Higher Learning.
a. We have made good progress on the electronics ITM, and are developing broad strategies in areas such as R&D, talent, and sustainability. This will allow Singapore to grow new capabilities, and to remain a critical node for advanced electronics manufacturing and innovation.
10. MTI and EDB will share more of these plans and we welcome industry to refine these plans and execute these plans on the ground to build this industry.
11. Let me reiterate that Singapore is open to talent, investments and innovation. You have seen yesterday the Minister of Manpower and Prime Minister recently during the National Day Rally talking about a new One Pass (an overseas network and expertise pass) this is a step towards being even more open to talent, investments and innovation. So I welcome organisations and individual companies like Pall and many others to come to Singapore, invest in Singapore and we will partner you to grow your businesses.
12. Thank you and congratulations to Pall.
 Source: SEMI World Fab Forecast (June 2021).