Speech by Minister Gan Kim Yong, Guest-of-Honour at GSK’s expanded vaccines manufacturing facility Ground-breaking

Speech by Minister Gan Kim Yong, Guest-of-Honour at GSK’s expanded vaccines manufacturing facility Ground-breaking

Mr Regis Simard, President, Global Supply Chain, GSK,

Mr Chan Siong Wan, Site Director, GSK Biologicals,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


1. A very good morning to all of you.

2. I am happy to witness the ground-breaking of GSK’s expanded vaccines manufacturing facility in Singapore.

3. GSK holds a special place in Singapore’s history as the first global healthcare company to establish your presence here in 1959.

4. Fast forward to today, and GSK’s manufacturing footprint has grown immensely.

a. This includes two additional plants in Jurong and Tuas, employing over 1,500 people across pharmaceutical and vaccines manufacturing, commercial operations and research & development.

5. Singapore also serves as the headquarters for GSK’s Global General Medicines (GM) business, and the regional headquarters for your Greater China and Intercontinental (GCI) and Emerging Markets (EM) business, illustrating the strength of our partnership.

The importance of being prepared for black swan events such as COVID-19

6. The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown the importance of preparedness in effectively responding to emergent threats.

7. In light of this, Singapore has been actively welcoming investments aimed at developing the entire value chain of activities related to vaccines, from clinical vaccine development to commercial vaccine manufacturing.

8. In November 2022, the Ministry of Health also launched the Programme for Research in Epidemic Preparedness and Response (PREPARE), which will build up Singapore’s preparedness and response capabilities in preparation of Disease X.

9. Biopharmaceutical companies such as GSK have a critical role to play in improving Singapore’s preparedness and resilience in dealing with future pandemics, drawing on your deep bench of innovation and talent.

GSK continues to be a valuable contributor to Singapore’s biopharmaceutical industry

10. Today, we are here to celebrate yet another milestone in our long-standing partnership – the expansion of GSK’s Tuas Vaccine Facility.

11. The additional investment of more than S$300 million will make GSK the largest vaccine production site in Singapore based on cumulative investment (~S$850 million).

12. As part of this investment, GSK will be transferring their next-generation process for their Hepatitis B vaccine (HBV) vaccine to the Tuas site.

a. Hepatitis B is a dangerous disease, causing serious complications in the liver. It affects 1 in 25 people in Singapore today.

b. This vaccine will be manufactured using single-use bags, which is a novel technology within the vaccine production space.

c. In addition, this technology would allow greater flexibility to existing manufacturing process and enable rapid-large scale vaccine production.

13. This advancement will further bolster Singapore’s position as a hub for innovation in this industry.

The Singapore Government values the longstanding partnership with GSK

14. I am happy to highlight the close collaboration between GSK and various Government agencies and stakeholders to drive manpower training, talent development and innovation efforts in the industry.

a. For instance, the Biopharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Advisory Council (BMAC), co-chaired by the Economic Development Board (EDB) and GSK, works with other Government agencies such as JTC across areas such as talent pipeline development, sustainability, technology and innovation efforts, to advance Singapore’s biopharma manufacturing industry and engage the wider public.

i. This whole-of-ecosystem approach differentiates Singapore as an attractive investment destination, enabling us to maintain our competitiveness even in the face of challenges such as rising costs.

b. Another fruit of the GSK-Singapore partnership was the establishment of the S$50 million GSK-EDB Trust fund in 2009, to train locals in Singapore in green manufacturing.

i. Over 200 trainees have been supported through this fund, carrying out sustainability research locally for pharmaceutical and fine chemicals manufacturing and address existing challenges of unsustainable practices in traditional manufacturing.

15. The Government deeply appreciates GSK’s constant drive for innovation and growth, and we look forward to deepening our partnership to develop and expand our biopharmaceutical sector.

16. Thank you.

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