The Economic Development Board (EDB) of Singapore announced that the city-state secured around SGD 13 billion (USD 9.3 billion) in investment commitments during the first four months of 2020, notwithstanding the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Ministry of Trade and Industry in Singapore specified that this performance had already surpassed the USD 5.5 billion to USD 7 billion projected for the whole of 2020.
These investments are focused in sectors where Singapore is a global leader, including electronics and the infocomm sector, and are expected to generate a few thousand jobs for workers in Singapore in the coming years. Companies such as memory and storage systems producer Micron plan to add 1,500 jobs in Singapore over the next few years, while instrumentation manufacturer, Thermo Fisher Scientific is increasing hiring due to a surge in demand for its COVID-19 test kits.
These investments also reflects the strength and stability of Singapore’s economy, which continue to make it an attractive destination for foreign investments. According to the latest survey conducted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), a 5.8% contraction is expected in gross domestic product (GDP) for the whole year of 2020.
On 26 May 2020, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat announced the “Fortitude” Budget of SGD 33 billion to provide support for businesses and workers to adapt, transform and seize new opportunities. It followed the previously announced Unity Budget (SGD 5.6 billion), Resilience Budget (SGD 48 billion) and Solidarity Budget (SGD 5.1 billion).
Singapore opened large parts of its economy from 19 June, the second phase in a three phase reopening plan. During this second phase, department stores, retail outlets, and F&B establishments have been permitted to allow dine-in customers. Most other businesses and the manufacturing sector were allowed to resume operations during phase 1 which started on 2 June 2020.
(Sources: ChannelNews Asia, Straits Times)