Singapore business investment commitments touch record high of $17b in 2022

Business investment commitments in Singapore hit a record high of S$22.5 billion ($16.98 billion) last year, driven by the electronics sector and rebounding from a slump in 2021, government data on Thursday showed.

The commitments for investments in fixed assets such as facilities, machinery and other equipment were almost double the S$11.8 billion in 2021 and S$5 billion higher than the previous record high in 2020.

Last year’s fixed-asset investments are expected to create more than 17,000 jobs, the Economic and Development Board (EDB) said in a statement, noting it did not expect the investment trend to continue.

“We don’t expect these sorts of numbers going forward,” EDB chairman Beh Swan Gin said.

He said the city-state faced headwinds including rising interest rates and softer demand, competition from other countries offering incentives and efforts to decarbonise the economy.

Beh said some competing developed economies had also brought in “very aggressive policies to attract investments in areas of semiconductors, in areas of technologies to deal with climate change”.

Two-thirds of the fixed-asset commitments came from the electronics sector, with EDB noting an “exceptional inflow” of large manufacturing projects in the first half of 2022.

About half of the investment commitments came from the United States, down from 67% in 2021. Meanwhile, fixed-asset commitments from China accounted for 8.5% of commitments last year, up from 1.1% in 2021.

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