Speech by 2M Tan See Leng at the Yokogawa 50th Anniversary Dinner

Speech by 2M Tan See Leng at the Yokogawa 50th Anniversary Dinner

His Excellency, Mr Hiroshi Ishikawa, Ambassador of Japan to Singapore


Mr. Hitoshi Nara, President & CEO of Yokogawa Electric


Distinguished Guests,


Ladies and Gentlemen,




1. A very good evening to all.


I am delighted to join you this evening to celebrate Yokogawa’s 50th anniversary in Singapore. 


2. My heartiest congratulations to you for this significant milestone.


3. Singapore greatly values our longstanding partnership with Yokogawa.


a. 50 years ago, when Singapore was still in the early days of industrialisation, you placed your trust in Singapore to be the site of your first factory outside Japan to manufacture leading-edge analogue meters. 


b. Since then, Yokogawa has expanded its operations across the whole business value chain.


4. Today, you have made Singapore your headquarters for your global industrial automation business and your largest R&D centre outside Japan. 


a. Across your company, you employ over 800 people in Singapore across a range of activities spanning headquarter functions, manufacturing, engineering and R&D. 


b. You are also one of the early investors to leverage our immediate region by establishing a manufacturing plant in Batam to complement your company’s operations in Singapore.


5. I am especially heartened to hear of your company’s efforts in two areas which are very close to my portfolio – innovation and talent development. 


Our Shared Commitment for Innovation


6. Technologies such as robotics, AI and the Internet of Things are transforming the manufacturing landscape, offering companies the potential to deploy solutions with higher productivity, efficiency and reliability. 


7. In order to seize new growth opportunities in this era of rapid technological advancements, we must invest in R&D and innovation. 


8. Yokogawa and Singapore share the same commitment for innovation.


9. The Yokogawa Singapore Development Centre was established in 2004 to drive innovation in production control applications. 


Since then, it has grown to over 100 people and is Yokogawa’s largest R&D centre outside of Japan, housing the company’s first-of-its-kind Co-Innovation Centre (CIC), as well as an AI Lab.


a. The CIC develops and test-beds innovative proof-of-concepts, or POCs, with customers in digital transformation and smart manufacturing. 


b. The AI lab complements the CIC by developing new AI features that can be incorporated into these POCs and help customers in their transition to autonomous operations.


c. We, of course, warmly welcome Yokogawa’s interest to establish a Sustainability Incubation Hub in Singapore.


10. To underscore Singapore’s commitment to innovation, we announced in the recent Budget that the Government will invest an additional S$3 billion to our Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2025 plan. 


a. The additional resources will go towards areas such as advanced manufacturing, sustainability, the digital economy, and healthcare.


11. We also announced plans to invest more than S$1 billion over the next 5 years in AI computing capability, as well as for talent and industry development.


a. This will support Singapore’s National AI Strategy 2.0 to catalyse AI initiatives and spur greater innovation across the economy. 


Developing a Strong Local Talent Pool


12. All of you would have flown in here and see how small our country is. As a country with little physical resources, talent is a critical resource and a key ingredient to our ability to stay on top of the game and remain competitive. 


That is why we provide significant re-skilling and upskilling support to companies, so that they may equip their workforce with the relevant skillsets and in doing so, provide better jobs for Singaporeans.


13. I am pleased to learn about Yokogawa’s efforts to provide opportunities for our people to progress their careers through in-house talent development programmes.


a. Since 2018, over 20 Singaporeans have benefitted from these talent development programmes geared towards leadership training and succession planning.


14. At the recent Budget, we also introduced new initiatives to better support companies in sending employees for overseas exposure, including the Overseas Markets Immersion Programme. 


a. Such initiatives will allow companies to build a strong globally oriented team and create better career trajectories and career opportunities for Singaporeans. 


15. I sincerely hope that Yokogawa will continue in its efforts to develop a strong local talent pool in Singapore, and we stand ready to support you in your workforce development efforts.




16. On this very happy occasion of your golden jubilee, I wish Yokogawa the very best, and I look forward to many more successful decades ahead with us. 


17. As Singapore charts its Manufacturing 2030 vision to become a global business, innovation and talent hub for advanced manufacturing, we are heartened that companies are investing in innovation and talent development here in Singapore. 


18. Let us continue to deepen our partnership in the years to come, so that we may create new opportunities together for your business, for our economy and for Singaporeans. 


19. Thank you.

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