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Singapore Sees Upside From ‘Flight to Safety’ and Supply Chains

·2 min read
Singapore Sees Upside From ‘Flight to Safety’ and Supply Chains

(Bloomberg) -- Singapore is benefiting from a “flight to safety” in uncertain times and a “regionalization” of supply chains, according to the city-state’s Economic Development Board.

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Companies that have been battered by the pandemic and are now facing regulatory uncertainty elsewhere as well as surging inflation are attracted to Singapore’s pro-business environment and predictable policies, EDB Chairman Beh Swan Gin told Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin.

“Generally, in times of uncertainty and volatility, there will be a flight to safety,” Beh said in an interview airing Wednesday. “And this time around, we are seeing that as well.”

EDB spearheads Singapore’s efforts in attracting investment and talent, serving as a lead negotiator with wealthy investors and multinational companies eyeing the city-state. Singapore hauled in S$11.8 billion ($8.6 billion) in investment commitments last year, led by semiconductor manufacturers and biotechnology firms, after an “exceptional” S$17.2 billion in 2020.

Beh highlighted how Chinese tech companies are now among firms relocating to Singapore as Beijing reins in the sector’s influence.

“We have some of these companies then deciding that they have to pursue growth elsewhere and Southeast Asia today is very attractive market for Chinese tech companies,” Beh said.

Read more: Why China Keeps on Targeting Its Technology Giants: QuickTake

The pandemic also helped reveal the “concentration risk” of supply chains that many companies face. That’s triggering a “regionalization” of supply chains that is “absolutely” benefiting Singapore and Southeast Asia, which have “a very sizable and very competitive manufacturing industry.”

Read more: Why Supply Chains Are Entering Third Year of Chaos: QuickTake

Other highlights from the interview include:

  • On cryptocurrency firms: “If they are not prepared to be on the right side of our regulations, it would be very difficult for them to find Singapore hospitable for their own ambitions.”

  • On Singapore’s competition for talent with Dubai: “If we actually strengthen our linkages and collaborate, we will actually be able to create ‘one plus one equals three.’”

  • On tensions between the US and China: “We would much rather have a benign global economy where there’s growth in China and the US and both the superpowers, both the big economies, continue to cooperate with each other, because that would then expand the size of the pie which would be to the benefit of everybody.”

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