Robert Davis, CEO and President, MSD
David Peacock, President, MSD Asia-Pacific
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. It is my honour to join you today to officiate the opening of MSD’s new secondary packaging and inhaler medicines facilities. This S$280 million expansion is part of MSD’s five-year plan to invest S$700 million in Singapore. MSD’s investment will create over 200 local jobs, lifting its overall headcount here to more than 1,800. This will also bring MSD’s total investment in Singapore to over S$3 billion dollars.
MSD’s entry into Singapore
2. Since MSD began manufacturing in Singapore in 1997, it has undergone several rounds of expansion which included R&D and commercial operations. Today, Singapore has established itself as one of MSD’s key manufacturing locations, producing seven out of MSD’s top 10 products. Furthermore, Singapore is the only MSD site in Asia that manufactures immunotherapy products for cancer patients in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region. Having a significant presence of a pharmaceutical giant like MSD in Singapore is a ringing endorsement of our biomedical ecosystem and advanced manufacturing capabilities.
Singapore – Building a globally competitive biomedical sector
3. This did not happen by chance, but a result of careful planning over the years and nimble regulatory measures. We are fortunate to have attracted many pharmaceutical heavyweights here. Today, biomedical sciences contribute over three percent to Singapore’s GDP. Pharmaceutical manufacturing output has more than tripled since 2000, producing over S$17 billion worth of products for global markets in 2021. Nearly 9,000 workers are now employed in this sector, four times more than in 2000.
Manufacturing 2030 Vision
4. The Government will continue to support and grow this sector, in line with our Manufacturing 2030 Vision to grow manufacturing by 50 percent in 10 years. As announced earlier, we will also build up our talent pool through schemes such as the M2030 Careers Initiative and Industry 4.0 Human Capital Initiative. These initiatives will help our workers to acquire industry-relevant skills and access good jobs in this area.
5. MSD’s new investments will inject a booster shot for our M2030 Vision, and support Singapore’s ambitions to become a leading biopharma manufacturing hub. MSD’s new secondary packaging facility can produce over 33 million vaccine units annually, and the inhaler production facility will be MSD’s sole drug product manufacturing site for its new pulmonary arterial hypertension medicines. With these new capabilities, MSD will be able to refresh its product offerings and meet demands for the growing Asian market, while improving the health of Singaporeans and people across the globe.
Supply Chain Resilience – Disease X and Conventional Illnesses
6. Drawing from the lessons of COVID-19, we must continue to improve our bio-preparedness at the national level. Expanding our vaccine manufacturing capabilities will enhance our ability to respond effectively and swiftly to future health emergencies. It will also fortify our region’s defence against similar supply chain disruptions that we had faced during the global race to inoculate our populations against COVID-19 variants.
7. At the same time, we want to continue supporting the development of novel and high-quality treatments for conventional illnesses. For example, MSD develops and manufactures a range of products, including for diabetes, asthma, high cholesterol, and other vaccine-preventable diseases such as HPV. Through our collective efforts, I am confident that Singapore can take on a greater role in producing these innovative products and vaccines at scale, offering closer proximity and quicker access to critical medicine supplies for our region.
8. In closing, I would like to congratulate MSD on the opening of your two facilities. Singapore will continue to be your trusted and reliable partner as you grow your presence here, and I look forward to an even stronger partnership in the years ahead.
9. Thank you.