Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), launched the Electronics Industry Transformation Map (ITM) on 20 September at the opening of JTC nanoSpace @ Tampines. Developed by a multi-agency team together with industry partners, unions and trade associations, the ITM maps out strategies that will build the electronics industry of tomorrow. Through the ITM efforts, the industry is expected to achieve a manufacturing value-add of S$22.2 billion and introduce 2,100 new PMET jobs by 2020.
The electronics industry is a key sector of growth for Singapore's economy and is poised for continual growth. Starting out with labour-intensive system assembly of consumer products in the 60s, Singapore's electronics industry has since transformed to the manufacture of high-value components, such as RF filters and semiconductor integrated circuits. In 2016, electronics manufacturing contributed 4.4% to Singapore's GDP, accounting for close to S$90 billion in manufacturing output, and employing about 70,000 workers.
The emergence of new applications areas such as autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence and healthcare, which are enabled by electronics, has brought about new growth opportunities for the industry. These new applications will drive greater diversity of demand for electronics and advancements in hardware. To tap into these opportunities, companies are embracing open innovation as a means to co-innovate and co-develop system solutions with their partners.
To prepare Singapore to tap into these global trends and opportunities, the ITM has identified a two-pronged strategy to ensure the continual growth of the electronics industry – firstly, to diversify into new growth markets, and secondly, to transform the existing base of electronics manufacturing and attract new investments in high-value components. The ITM will also focus on growing a strong pipeline of local talent, and upgrading the industry associations to better support the industry.