Speech by MOS Low Yen Ling at the Soitec Ground-Breaking Ceremony

Speech by MOS Low Yen Ling at the Soitec Ground-Breaking Ceremony

Her Excellency Minh-di Tang, Ambassador of the French Republic to Singapore,


Pierre Barnabe, Chief Executive Officer, Soitec,


Bernard Aspar, Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President, Soitec


My colleagues from the MTI Family, Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director, Economic Development Board (EDB),


Tan Boon Kai, Chief Executive Officer, Jurong Town Corporation (JTC)


Distinguished Guests,


Ladies and Gentlemen,




1. Good morning everyone. It is my pleasure to join you today at the ground-breaking ceremony of Soitec’s expansion of its wafer fabrication facility. On behalf of the Singapore Government, Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), EDB and JTC, we would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Pierre, Bernard and your teams at Soitec on this significant milestone, which also commemorates Soitec’s thirtieth anniversary.


2. As what Pierre and Ambassador had highlighted in their speeches, Soitec is a longstanding partner of Singapore. I really liked Ambassador’s anecdote of the French-Singapore love story. In 2006, we welcomed Soitec’s first silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer substrate facility, here at Pasir Ris wafer fab park. It was also the first such facility in Singapore.


3. Since then, Soitec has continued to invest in Singapore and we are grateful for your commitment, trust and confidenceWe are home to Soitec’s only other manufacturing facility outside of France. Today, I am glad to witness the ground-breaking of Soitec’s wafer fabrication extension. This milestone is a testament to our many years of fruitful collaboration and as rightfully described the French-Singapore love story.


a. When fully ramped up, this expansion will increase Singapore’s share of Soitec’s global manufacturing output to over two-thirds, up from the current 50%.


b. Amidst the intense competition for investments and softening near-term demand in the semiconductor industry, Soitec’s decision to expand its operations here is particularly significant. It signals the company’s strong confidence in Singapore and long-term commitment to building its presence here and in the region.


Supporting the Growth of Singapore’s Semiconductor industry


4. The semiconductor industry continues to be an important pillar of Singapore’s economy, contributing 7% of our GDP. By partnering with leading global companies like Soitec, we have built our leadership across the semiconductor value chain – in activities such as substrate manufacturing, wafer fabrication, and in assembly, testing and packaging, whether frontend or backend, we have the entire value chain right here in Singapore.


a. While the external demand outlook has softened in recent months, the industry’s longer-term growth trajectory remains strong. Technology megatrends such as Artificial Intelligence, 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) are projected to propel the global semiconductor industry past US$1 trillion in market value by the end of this decade. This would be double the size of today’s market.


b. Singapore is well-positioned to capture these growth opportunities. The Singapore Government is not letting up in our efforts to attract investments from major semiconductor companies like Soitec as we are intent on realising our Manufacturing 2030 vision.


5. Let me share two areas in which the Government is continuing to strengthen and power ahead.


6. First, we are laser-focused on grooming a strong bench of engineering talent to support the industry’s needs. For instance, Soitec’s new investment will add 300 PMET jobs to the Singapore semiconductor workforce in the next 5 years. A healthy talent pipeline will support the sector’s growth and development. It is all about people, people, people.


7. Together with educational institutions and companies, the Government will drive a concerted talent outreach to nurture a vibrant talent pool by introducing and exposing our students to the diverse and promising career opportunities in the semiconductor sector.


a. For example, the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association (SSIA) are working closely with companies on industry-wide student outreaches to encourage students to join the sector upon graduation. These include training programmes, career fairs, semiconductor industry awareness programmes and plant visits.


8. Second, we are strengthening our cooperation with partner manufacturers to support their complementary activities in Singapore, such as R&D and supply chain management as they diversify their base and deepen their operations here.


a. For example, the Government’s 25 billion Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) budget for 2020 to 2025 signals our commitment to developing deep research excellence across different industries.


b. Importantly, this investment is key to the semiconductor sector and R&D-intensive companies like Soitec. In 2020, the sector channelled between 8 to 16% of its revenue into R&D investments.


c. I understand that Soitec has established strong connections with local research institutes, particularly with the Institute of Microelectronics (IME). Their collaboration will contribute greatly to the development of next-generation compound semiconductor devices, to enable energy-efficient and high-performance electric vehicles.




9. In closing, let me again represent the Singapore Government, MTI, EDB and JTC to thank Pierre, Bernard and your teams at Soitec again for your strong partnership with Singapore over the past 16 years. May this French-Singapore love story continue to flourish. We look forward to future collaboration opportunities and wish you every success with your new project.


10. Congratulations and thank you.


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