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LEADING SECTORS FOR U.S. EXPORTS IN SINGAPORE

The best prospects sectors for Singapore include electronic components, aircraft and parts, electronics industry production/testing equipment, laboratory and scientific instruments, pollution control equipment, electric power systems, construction equipment and building products, pumps and valves, medical devices, telecommunication equipment and computer hardware and software, university education services and franchising. CLICK on the links below for market information on some of the sectors.

Semiconductors

Singapore-based electronics manufacturers account for 11% global market share for semiconductor wafer foundry output and 25% global market share for printers. The world’s top three wafer foundry companies, top three sub-contract assembly-and-test companies, and top four fabless IC design companies all have facilities in Singapore. Electronic components for these plants are imported and integrated into products such as mobile phones, digital cameras, hand-held tablets, music players, game consoles, and televisions, which are then mainly exported. According to news articles, the electronics semiconductor sector has been a driving force of the overall manufacturing sector over the past year.

Singapore’s manufacturing sector has emerged as a regional economic powerhouse, contributing at least 20% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). A large component of this sector – electronics semiconductors – has attracted substantial foreign investments as well as value-added output and employment, contributing more than 25% of the manufacturing output. Despite the global trade wars, cost pressures and regional competition, the fall in global oil prices, coupled with local structural shifts towards higher-value production and services, Singapore continues to be a world-class semiconductor hub. It is still the location of choice for multi-national corporations (MNC) to enter new markets, launch products, processes, applications, and technology.

» LEADING SUB-SECTORS

There are increasing opportunities for Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) companies to pursue in various areas such as medical devices and aerospace. Many of the world’s top EMS companies such as Flextronics, Solectron, and Venture are located in Singapore, which is becoming an attractive base of high value-added production activities. Another electronic component technology that is being developed is the Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED), which is gradually replacing LCD panels.

Leading the growth will be new technology products such as 3D printers, Ultra-High Definition televisions, connected thermostats, unmanned systems (unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned vehicles, and home robots), internet protocol cameras and wearables such as health and fitness devices and smartwatches. Smart phones, which are driving social media usage in Asia, are also on the increase. These products are expected to double, growing more than 100% year-over-year in recent years.

The wearable device revolution is a key category to watch in the coming years. It is projected that overall wearable unit sales will reach 30 million units and generate in excess of US$5 billion in annual revenue over the next few years. Health and fitness devices are expected to lead unit sales among all wearables with a projected 20 million units and such proliferation of digital technologies require increasing memory demand such as DRAM and NAND flash memory products. The revenue is expected to surpass US$1.8billion.

» OPPORTUNITIES

The precision engineering industry, which supports the EMS companies, is an important sector of the Singapore economy. Through the supply of components, tooling, and equipment, this industry provides integral support to the manufacturing sector. Emerging global trends such as rapid urbanization, smart city initiatives, energy conservation, cryptocurrency mining and ageing populations poses new challenges for the Singapore market, which in turn allows for new opportunities for the electronics industry in Singapore.

New growth areas that have been identified are in green electronics, bio-electronics, plastic electronics, blockchain transactions and security. Over the next 3-5 years, the contribution to electronics output from these new growth areas is expected to triple to 30% of the electronics output which will result in more than 20,000 skilled jobs being created in both the manufacturing and service sectors.

The Government of Singapore still expects to greatly expand manufacturing output beyond 2020 and is aiming to reach a total manufacturing output of US$200 billion and total manufacturing value-added of US$50 billion. Hewlett Packard and Texas Instruments which have extensive electronics expertise, have invested nearly US$10 billion combined. Singapore is also a leading manufacturer of enterprise hard disk drives with companies such as Seagate and Hitachi. Over the past few years, the country accounted for half of the world’s enterprise hard disk drives.

Web Resources

Trade Shows

Semicon Southeast Asia, May 7-9, 2019
http://www.semiconsea.org/

Singapore Government Offices Singapore Economic Development Board
https://www.edb.gov.sg

Industry Organizations Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association
http://www.ssia.org.sg/

Association of Electronic Industries in Singapore
http://www.aeis.org.sg/

U.S. Commercial Service, Singapore Contact:
Mr. CHAN Y K, Commercial Specialist
Email: Yiukei.Chan@trade.gov


OIL & GAS

Overview

Singapore has become one of the most important shipping centers in Asia and is one of the world’s top five oil trading and refining hubs. In addition, Singapore is one of the market leaders for floating production, storage and offloading (FPSOs) conversions and offshore jack-up rigs. Underground caverns for oil storage and a liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal are also being expanded in phases to enhance Singapore’s position as the premier regional center for the oil and gas industry. In view of stabilizing oil prices, the growth and imports are expected to be more promising over the next 1-2 years than over the past 2-3 years. However, as the regional hub for Southeast Asia and its friendly business environment, there will be opportunities for U.S. exporters in Singapore especially if there is a pickup in oil and gas exploration activities.

» LEADING SUB-SECTORS

Singapore offers many opportunities for American companies including:

  • Supply of equipment such as boring or sinking machinery for upstream and downstream oil and gas, shipbuilding, marine, mechanical and electrical construction, oxidation additives, and various control systems
  • Oilfield equipment that includes instrumentation such as drilling information systems, drilling monitors, mud logging units, mud monitoring systems, torque gauges, pressure gauges, weight indicators, deadline anchors, valves/actuators, performance testing, and design control systems
  • Supply of tubular products such as casings, tubing, carbon steel line pipes, drill pipes, heavy wall pipes, drill collars, drill stem accessories, and mechanical alloy steel tubes used on derricks

» OPPORTUNITIES

Singapore is often listed as the leading oil trading hub in Asia (third in the world after New York and London) and amongst the world’s top five oil refining centers. It has a refining capacity of nearly double its rate of petroleum products consumption. It is also a world leader in the construction of exploration and production platforms and FPSOs conversions as well as for jack-up rigs. However, with the industry downturn over the past 2-3 years, there were less projects undertaken but with the improving industry outlook, it is expected there will be new projects over the next 1-2 years.

According to industry sources and feedback from Singapore companies, the stability and economics of oil prices are very important. In addition, cash flow also has an impact on new projects such as construction of new rigs so many companies are consolidating / restructuring or adopting new innovative technologies to be more efficient. An example of a new project that is proceeding is the US$200 million semisubmersible floating production topside which Shell is building in Singapore which will be eventually be located 150 miles southeast of New Orleans in 4000ft deep of water in the Gulf of Mexico.

Engineering, procurement, and construction of the US$700 million LNG terminal was awarded in late 2009 to a Korean consortium led by Samsung. The first phase was completed in 2013 with the arrival of the first shipment of LNG from Qatar. Future expansion work (including a second LNG terminal which has been proposed), costing more than US$500 million, is already being planned as Singapore aims to be a future hub for natural gas trading and transshipment in Asia. Once all phases are completed by 2017, the first terminal will be able to handle nine million metric tons per year.

The construction of Very Large Floating Structures (VLFS) for storage of oil and petroleum products is being explored since land is scarce. Feasibility studies are underway to determine the impact of sea currents and met-ocean conditions according to recent press reports. To be economical, the minimum storage capacity of a VLFS would be 300,000 cubic meters or equivalent to that of a very large crude carrier. It is estimated that it would cost US$150 million or more – however, the decision to move forward with the issue of a tender (engineering, procurement, and construction) has been postponed due to the downturn in the oil & gas sector.

» WEB RESOURCES

Trade Shows
OSEA 2018
November 27-29, 2018
http://www.osea-asia.com/

Singapore Government Offices
Singapore Economic Development Board (SEDB)
https://www.edb.gov.sg

International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore)
https://www.spring.gov.sg

Spring Singapore
https://www.iesingapore.gov.sg/

U.S. Commercial Service, Singapore Contact
Contact: Mr. CHAN Y K, Commercial Specialist
Email: Yiukei.Chan@trade.gov

AIRCRAFT & PARTS

» OVERVIEW

Singapore serves as a major aircraft maintenance hub, and thus provides an ideal market for exports of U.S. aircraft parts. Furthermore, the country’s favorable customs regime and its location in a rapidly growing regional aviation market have attracted many firms from the United States and Europe to set up operations in Singapore.

Singaporean maintenance firms such as ST Aerospace and SIA Engineering Company are major global players of their own right. While the growth of aircraft fleets in other Asian countries (such as China) and the high cost of doing business in Singapore may challenge Singapore’s dominance in the aircraft maintenance arena in the future, however, for now, Singapore remains a solid means of entry to the South East Asian market.

» LEADING SUB-SECTORS

Singapore is consistently developing its aerospace industry, particularly in its MRO sector. This will undoubtedly provide greater opportunities in Singapore for MRO activities to grow and so are the supply of aircraft parts and systems.

Singapore is consistently a top market for U.S. aerospace parts exports, which averaged over $7.5 billion between 2013 and 2017. About 60% of Singapore’s aircraft parts imports were from the U.S.

» OPPORTUNITIES

Demand for air travel in the Asia Pacific is expected to triple in the next decades. With the opening of Jewel Changi Airport and the completion of Changi’s Terminal 1 expansion in 2019, Changi Airport’s total handling capacity will increase to 85 million passengers per annum. This will help secure Changi Airport as a leading air hub with sufficient capacity to ride on the projected growth in the air traffic in the region.

In addition to supplying parts to the MRO business in view of the projected air traffic growth, Singapore also presents opportunities in areas such as business aviation, regional training, and asset management, particularly so because of the boom in low-cost travel and a growing web of open-skies agreements that are expected to power long-term growth for Asian airlines in the years ahead. As an aerospace hub in the Asia Pacific, Singapore is most definitely going to reap the benefits of this upturn.

» WEB RESOURCES

Trade Shows
Singapore Air Show 2020 February 11-16, 2020
http://www.singaporeairshow.com/trade/

Singapore Government Offices
Singapore Economic Development Board
https://www.edb.gov.sg

Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore
https://www.caas.gov.sg

Defense Science and Technology Agency
https://www.dsta.gov.sg/

Changi Airport Group
http://www.changiairport.com/corporate.html

U.S. Commercial Service, Singapore Contact:
Mr. NG Haw Cheng, Commercial Specialist
Email: Hawcheng.Ng@trade.gov




MEDICAL DEVICES

» OVERVIEW

A 2016 report published by Lancet medical journal places Singapore in the top ranks for global healthcare, along with Iceland and Sweden while in 2017, Singapore took the top position in progress towards the health-related UN Sustainable Development Goals and in the Global Innovation Index 2017. The World Health Organization (WHO) also ranked Singapore’s healthcare system as sixth globally, offering the fourth best healthcare infrastructure in the world. It spends 4.6% of GDP on healthcare and provides universal coverage for Singaporeans with multiple layers of care. Singapore ranked second in the Bloomberg Healthcare Efficiency Index 2016 and is increasingly acknowledged for having achieved excellent healthcare outcomes at modest costs. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) also placed Singapore second in the world for best healthcare outcomes. Among its ASEAN peers, Singapore spends the most annually in healthcare on a per capita basis. It also serves as the healthcare and medical hub of the region and offers Asia’s best healthcare system. The Joint Commission International (JCI) has accredited 23 Singapore hospitals and healthcare facilities. Each year, Singapore draws over 350,000 patients with its high-quality healthcare. According to the International Healthcare Research Centre (IHRC)’s latest study in 2014, Singapore ranked fourth out of 25 countries worldwide in the medical tourism rankings.

Prominent international healthcare and research organizations such as the American Association for Cancer Research, Duke University, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, and Joint Commission International have established a presence in Singapore. The research institutes work with scientists here to accelerate drug discovery and develop therapies for unmet healthcare needs.

The government is very committed to Singapore’s healthcare needs and the long term plan is to raise GDP spending on healthcare to 8%, up from 4.6% currently. The National Health Expenditure has increased more than 60% in five years, from $7.9 billion to $13.7 billion in 2015. This is expected to rise to $9.6 billion per year by 2020. Singapore has strong fundamentals in healthcare excellence, providing strong infrastructure and universal health coverage. This emphasis on quality care has enabled the country to achieve high life expectancies, fourth in the world, and the lowest infant mortality in the world. Its challenge is that it has one of the fastest aging populations in Asia, which will translate to a greater demand for specialized elderly care amid rising costs.

In 2017, imports of medical equipment and supplies to Singapore increased a marginal 3% over the previous year. This corresponds with the the increased spending associated with the establishment of new hospitals and healthcare facilities. As more healthcare facilities come on stream and are equipped, it is anticipated that there wll be increased spending on medical equipment. U.S. medical equipment and supplies accounted for 30% of market share in 2017.

Based on available trade figures for 2017 and 2018 to date, U.S. exports of medical equipment to Singapore are expected to increase in 2018. This reflects the continued focus the Singapore government has to grow and enhance the healthcare delivery sector and the positive perceptions associated with American brands in the medical devices and healthcare sector. Also, as regional economies start to enjoy higher economic growth and improvements in healthcare standards and delivery, transshipments through Singapore are expected to rise. A continued increase in exports after 2018 is anticipated. At present, more than 75% of products imported into Singapore are subsequently re-exported.

Medical devices are regulated under the Health Products Act and Health Products (Medical Devices) regulations. Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority (HSA) oversees the system of statutory control aimed to safeguard the quality, safety and efficacy of medical devices available in Singapore. Almost all medical devices are regulated. Class A medical devices supplied in a non-sterile state are exempted, however, Class A sterile, Class B, C, and D medical devices are subject to product registration requirements. Classification rules are adopted from the guidance developed by the Global Harmonization Task Force (GHTF).

ASEAN has been developing a uniform system for registering and assessing medical devices across the ten-member countries. Various ASEAN economies have started adoption of the ASEAN Medical Device Directive (AMDD). This requires ASEAN countries to adopt uniform classification criteria for medical devices. This bodes well for U.S. medical device manufacturers as they will be able to easily access a common medical device market with a market size of more than 600 million people. Adherence to the basic principles of the AMDD in ASEAN will likely only take place in the next few years.

» LEADING SUB-SECTORS

Healthcare demand and spending will increase due to an aging population, heavier chronic disease burdens, advances in technology and rising expectations. There will be three shifts in the Health Ministry and these are: Beyond Healthcare to Health; Beyond Hospital to Community; Beyond Quality to Value.

Statistics have shown a rise in the incidence of diabetes in Singapore where approximately 8% of the population is diabetic. The Ministry of Health is looking to arrest this and will dedicate resources to combat it. There are currently more than 400,000 diabetics, costing Singapore over US$740 million yearly. This is expected to rise to US$1.8 billion if the trend is not arrested. A holistic approach encompassing regular health screenings, lifestyle changes, and exercise will be adopted. Opportunities therefore exist for U.S. suppliers of health and wellness products.

The mandate of the Health Ministry is to deliver affordable healthcare, ensuring good medical outcomes, reducing illness and promoting good health and ensuring that the country is resilient against communicable disease threats and civil emergencies. Six years ago, the government announced a US$5.6 billion budget that addressed infrastructure concerns in the short and long term as well as healthcare provision and subsidies for the poor. The three key areas of focus are healthcare infrastructure, healthcare delivery, and managing the associated costs and issues related to an aging population. This budget also includes larger subsidies for surgical implants, the treatment and management of chronic diseases, as well as funding programs to promote healthy lifestyle and active-aging programs. As a result, U.S. exporters of medical devices, preventive and health screening products, and disease management solutions would be able to benefit.

The Singapore government also remains committed to ensuring that the national healthcare system keeps pace with global medical advancements. To keep up with advances in biomedical science and encourage the development of new clinical treatments for Singaporeans, the Ministry of Health, in partnership with A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research), and several other governmental bodies, will invest US$53 million in clinical and translational research. Another US$10.6 million has been set aside for the development of new clinical services. The aim is to augment Singapore’s medical capabilities in the public healthcare system and position Singapore as the premier regional medical services hub. U.S. exporters who are able to provide cutting-edge technology, laboratory and testing equipment, and services for the healthcare and research communities, will find Singapore a lucrative market.

The elderly, categorized as those over 65 years, currently represents 10.7% of the total population, higher than all the other ASEAN countries. Within the next twenty years, Singapore will experience what is known as ‘hyper-aging.’ Over a quarter of the population will be 65 years and older by 2030. As such, more facilities for the elderly, such as nursing homes and rehabilitation centers, need to be built. The demand for services such as geriatric medicine and rehabilitation medicine are expected to rise as is demand for homecare services. U.S. firms specializing in elder-care products and services will find a robust and growing market in Singapore.

» OPPORTUNITIES

A December 2017 Bloomberg interview highlighted Singapore’s plan to embrace technology and focus on personal health, as an expected doubling of senior citizens over the next twenty years forces the island state to confront politically sensitive decisions on healthcare financing. Broadly speaking, the opportunities are in personal health management, health screening, disease management, preventive care products, access to homecare resources and support, health IT solutions, data sharing, and advanced technologies that would enable seamless and integrated healthcare. Innovative solutions that offer relative value are sought.

According to Frost and Sullivan, Asia Pacific’s healthcare market is estimated to contribute close to 33% of the global healthcare market and estimated to be valued at $521 billion, with trends in the medical device industry in Asia mainly centered on imaging, cardiovascular, and healthcare IT. A key driver for the Southeast Asian region is the impending liberalization of the services sector this year under the ASEAN agreement.

Singapore is renowned for its role as a healthcare hub for the region, treating patients from neighboring Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, and more recently, from the Americas, Europe, and the Asia Pacific.

Government hospitals account for 80% of all hospital beds in Singapore while the private sector accounts for 20%. Under Healthcare 2020, over 4,000 new public hospital and community hospital beds will be added by 2020. Currently, there were an estimated 12,000 hospital beds, equal to a rate of 2.2 beds per thousand people. Three quarters or 9,700 will come from the public sector with the private sector accounting for the rest.

Demand for medical equipment comes from public and private hospitals and clinics. The Health Ministry is the largest consumer, accounting for nearly 70% of local demand. All public and the majority of private sector hospitals are Joint Commission International (JCI) accredited. Parkway Hospitals Singapore, the largest private sector healthcare provider in Singapore, is also a significant buyer of medical equipment. More than 80% of local demand is met through imports and there is a premium placed on American-made products. U.S. manufacturers with innovative products will find Singapore a good market place.

Singapore will invest in primary care infrastructure such as polyclinics and community health centers. Digital technologies that support the healthcare sector are another area of investment. Singapore’s Ng Teng Fong Hospital, a public tertiary hospital, obtained the coveted HIMSS EMRAM Stage 7 in late 2016, the highest EMRAM level, barely a year after its opening. The National Electronic Health Record (NEHR) project, launched eight years ago, valued at US$144 million is close to becoming a reality with each citizen having his or her own electronic medical record.

Between now and 2025, parts of the Singapore General Hospital, to be renamed the Outram Campus and Community Hospital, will expand with major redevelopment of Singapore’s oldest and largest hospital set to take place from 2025 to 2035. The new National Cancer Center will be housed there. Over the medium term, five new public hospitals and up to twelve more polyclinics will be built by 2030 to ensure that Singapore has adequate healthcare coverage. There are also plans to build new and replacement nursing homes to bring the total to 25 by 2020. Given that the world is facing infectious disease threats due to more global travel and increased connectivity, a new 300-bed hospital for infectious disease is expected to be built by this year. In addition, a new 12-story, US$135 million National Heart Center building, three times larger than the size of the existing one, is currently being built at the Singapore General Hospital and is scheduled for completion in 2020. Other infrastructure projects include the Woodlands Health Campus and the existing Tan Tock Seng Hospital. These are scheduled to progressively come on stream between 2022 and 2036.

» WEB RESOURCES

Trade Shows
Asia Pacific Medtech Forum 2018 / 2019
October 9-11, 2018 / October 8-10, 2019

Phar-East 2019
March 18-20, 2019

Asia Health 2019
March 27-29, 2019

MEDLAB Asia Pacific 2019
March 27-29, 2019

International Dental Exhibition and Meeting 2020 (IDEM)
April 24-26, 2020

Singapore Government Offices Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) https://www.moh.gov.sg

MOH Holdings (MOHH)
http://www.mohh.com.sg/

Integrated Health Information System (IHiS)
https://www.ihis.com.sg

Singapore Government Offices Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH)
https://www.moh.gov.sg

MOH Holdings (MOHH)
http://www.mohh.com.sg/

Integrated Health Information System (IHiS)
https://www.ihis.com.sg

Health Sciences Authority (HSA)
http://www.hsa.gov.sg

Health Promotion Board (HPB)
https://www.hpb.gov.sg/

Agency for Integrated Care (AIC)
https://www.aic.sg/

Singapore Economic Development Board (SEDB)
https://www.edb.gov.sg

Health Promotion Board (HPB)
https://www.hpb.gov.sg/

Agency for Integrated Care (AIC)
https://www.aic.sg/

Singapore Economic Development Board (SEDB)
https://www.edb.gov.sg

U.S. Commercial Service, Singapore Contact:
Ms. Luanne Theseira, Commercial Specialist
Email: Luanne.Theseira@trade.gov

TELECOMMUNICATION

» OVERVIEW

Singapore is one of the world’s most technologically advanced telecommunications markets. Telecommunications and Internet facilities in Singapore are state-of-the-art, providing high-quality communications with the rest of the world. 3G services were rolled out in 2005, 4G in 2011, and mobile operators introduced 4G+ and LTE-A in 2014. Singapore has three main mobile telephony operators, Singtel, Starhub and M1 and Australian TPG Telecom which won the fourth national mobile operator license in December 2016 is expected to roll out its services nationwide in 2018.

In March 2018, the Singapore wireless broadband penetration rate was 193.9%. Mobile penetration reached 149.3% and the mobile operators have closed their 2G networks since April 1, 2017. Telecom statistics can be found at: https://www.imda.gov.sg/industry-development/facts-and-figures/telecommunications/statistics-on-telecom-services

According to latest available Singapore government statistics, computer usage amongst all businesses in Singapore is 90% and broadband adoption rate is 95% for those companies with 10 or more employees. More than 94% of Singapore homes have broadband access and households showed trends of switching to using smart phones and other Internet-enabled devices such as Smart TVs to access the Internet. More information can be found at https://www.imda.gov.sg/industry-development/facts-and-figures/

Besides a nationwide broadband network infrastructure, Singapore is well connected by multiple satellite and submarine cable systems with more than 498 terabits per second (Tbps) of potential capacity supporting international and regional telecoms connectivity. It has more than 10.5 terabits per second (Tbps) of international Internet bandwidth connectivity to economies such as the U.S., China, Japan, India, as well as some countries in Europe and ASEAN.

The U.S. and Singapore have a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) on telecom equipment certification, and a list of the recognized U.S. testing and certification agencies can be found at:

https://www.imda.gov.sg/regulations-licensing-and-consultations/international-relations/mutual-recognition-arrangements

» LEADING SUB-SECTORS

Singapore is a major entrepôt and serves as a major distribution center for companies interested in selling to the region. In 2017, over 97% of telecommunications products imported into Singapore were re-exported for third country consumption. Best prospects for the Singapore market are next generation solutions for broadband, 4G, IPTV, VoIP, Internet of Things (IoT), and Smart Nation solutions.

>>OPPORTUNITIES

The telecommunication operators in Singapore are constantly looking for new technologies as they seek to offer advanced value-added solutions and services to their customers, including IoT such as smart home and healthcare applications.

Singapore is implementing ideas articulated in its Infocomm and Media 2025 Master Plan, e.g., it is developing a Smart Nation Platform and Heterogeneous Network that will form the infrastructural foundation for Smart Nation, delivering connectivity to "Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, All the Time." More information on can be found at https://www.imda.gov.sg/industry-development/infrastructure

» WEB RESOURCES

ConnecTechAsia
Incorporating: CommunicAsia, NXTAsia & BroadcastAsia
June 18- 20, 2019

Key Websites
https://www.imda.gov.sg/

https://www.tech.gov.sg/

https://www.smartnation.sg/

http://www.sitf.org.sg/

https://www.csa.gov.sg/

http://www.atis.org.sg/

https://www.export.gov/Market-Intelligence

U.S. Commercial Service, Singapore Contact:
Ms. CHIA Swee Hoon, Commercial Specialist
Email: SweeHoon.Chia@trade.gov

COMPUTER HARDWARE, SOFTWARE & PERIPHERALS

» OVERVIEW

Singapore is ranked second in technological readiness by The Economist Intelligent Unit report entitled Preparing for Disruption: Technological Readiness Ranking 2018-2022. The City State strives to be a Smart Nation and is regarded as a leader and model for smart cities in the world. Encompassing only 278 square miles, it is the most wired country in the world connected nation-wide by a network of high speed fiber optics and extensive wireless links.

The Singapore government views ICT investments as a source of economic and social development. The Smart Nation project resides in the Prime Minister’s office. The goal is to harness innovative technologies and solutions to make the city-state more energy efficient, clean and green while addressing citizen engagement and governance and needs in healthcare, transportation and housing. Singapore’s Smart Nation journey began in 2014 and initiatives underway range from using drone delivery of mail to self-driving car and bus pilot projects.

In addition to being the region's trading crossroads, Singapore is universally regarded as the #1 Tech hub in the Indo-Pacific, a key reason that 4,200 U.S. companies have made Singapore their regional headquarters. It has built a world class, globally competitive Tech industry and continues to explore new frontiers in innovation such as Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Interactive Media, Data Analytics and other technologies that span healthcare, security, energy, aviation, defense, smart cities and education. To promote this Tech-focused vision, Singapore actively markets itself as a sandbox for new product testing and development, often with financing.

» LEADING SUB-SECTORS

Best prospects include government projects, cyber security, data analytics, cloud computing, internet of things, artificial intelligence, industrial automation, and other smart nation solutions in mobility, healthcare, education, energy, fintech, aviation, and defense.

According to the 2016 Top Markets Report Health IT Country Case Study by USDOC ITA, Singapore was ranked the 5th market for Health IT exports, Singapore continues to be a solid Health IT market, particularly among Asian countries. The Ministry of Health (MOH) is expected to increase its procurement of IT services and technologies over the next few years. The Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS), the technology arm for MOH plans to invest in co-creating disease prevention and management programs, home diagnostic toolsets, and assistive robots.

Singapore is expected to have a sharp increase in its over-60 population over the next 15 years. Besides high expected growth in the over-60 population, Singapore’s compact geography, highly urbanized society, high per-capita income and widespread use of mobile phones and Internet are other factors that support strong Health IT usage. More information can be found at: http://trade.gov/topmarkets/health-it.asP

According to the 2016 Top Markets Report Financial Technology Country Case Study by USDOC ITA, Singapore was ranked 20th overall for Fintech market and 31st market for Payments exports. More information can be found at https://www.trade.gov/topmarkets/pdf/Financial_Technology_Singapore.pdf

» OPPORTUNITIES

According to BMI, Singapore is an advanced and high-value enterprise market where software and services spending are expected to drive continued growth in total IT spending over the medium term. Singapore also benefits from its regional hub status. BMI forecasts 2017 sales of computer hardware in Singapore to amount to US$1.45 billion and software to reach US$2.14 billion.

The Singapore government announced that it will be spending more than US$1.7 billion on ICT tenders in addition to the US$200 million on ICT projects in the healthcare sector. U.S. companies interested in doing business with the Singapore government should register with GeBIZ, the Singapore government's one-stop e-procurement portal where public sector invitations for quotations and tenders are posted. Both local and foreign suppliers are able to search for government procurement opportunities, download tender documents, and submit their bids online. U.S. companies interested in partnering with the government should also review the website: Programmes and Partnerships page of GovTech's website.

» WEB RESOURCES

RSA Conference 2019
March 4-8, 2019

Cloud Expo Asia
October 10-11, 2018

Cloud Security Expo
October 10-11, 2018

Smart IoT
October 10-11, 2018

Data Centre World
October 10-11, 2018

Singapore Fintech Festival
November 12-16, 2018

Key Websites
https://www.imda.gov.sg

https://www.tech.gov.sg

http://www.sitf.org.sg

https://www.export.gov/Market-Intelligence

U.S. Commercial Service, Singapore Contact:
Ms. CHIA Swee Hoon, Commercial Specialist
Email: SweeHoon.Chia@trade.gov

ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGIES (POL)

» OVERVIEW

From transportation and public housing, to energy management and water treatment, Singapore has developed and adopted some of the world’s most advanced sustainable solutions. Backed by a progressive leadership and firm commitment to sustainable development, Singapore has managed to turn challenges into rewarding opportunities.

Singapore is one of the few countries in the world to have mandated green designs for all new buildings since early 2008. The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Green Mark program encourages green awareness in the construction and real estate sectors.

Under the BCA Green Mark program, buildings are assessed for energy and water efficiency, indoor environmental quality and environmental protection. Leveraging the growing regional recognition of the program, Singapore is well-positioned to capture the growth in this sector through increased adoption of cutting-edge clean energy technologies in new and existing building developments.

The need for sustainable and fresh water supply is an increasingly important global concern today, with many countries actively seeking solutions for their water and environmental management needs. There is no doubt that in the years ahead, the water industry will continue to enjoy robust growth and Singapore, as a recognized Global HydroHub, will be there to ride the wave of this economic growth sector.

» LEADING SUB-SECTORS

Faced with the challenge of ensuring self-sufficiency in water, Singapore has used technology to innovate and develop new water management and treatment technologies such as water reclamation and seawater desalination. Today, the country has transformed its vulnerability in water into a strength.

Singapore’s national water agency, the Public Utilities Board (PUB), has opened its doors to private companies that want to test-bed projects using its infrastructure. PUB also offers contracts to private companies to design, build and operate water plants. U.S. companies are encouraged to participate in future tenders offered by the PUB. American manufacturers could also supply their equipment to successful prime contractors of PUB projects. Areas of interest including filtering and purifying machinery and apparatus, technologies involving wastewater recycling and treatment, and modular wastewater treatment systems.

» OPPORTUNITIES

Singapore is also building critical mass in areas of waste management and recycling. There is an estimated 7.7 million tons of solid waste generated annually in Singapore. With only one landfill site at Pulau Semakau, there is an increased need to look beyond incineration and reduce its reliance on landfilling as a key means of managing waste. As such, waste management is one business growth area where Singapore requires effective solutions, and where Singapore can serve as a working model and a test bed for new ideas.

The National Environment Agency is constantly looking at applicable technologies to fill gaps and up the value chain for management of solid waste, particularly to enhance the offshore landfill when it runs out of space by 2035.

» WEB RESOURCES

Trade Shows
BEX Asia
September 5-7, 2018

Singapore International Energy Week
October 29–Nov 2, 2018

Singapore Government Offices
Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources
www.mewr.gov.sg

National Environment Agency
www.nea.gov.sg

Public Utilities Board
www.pub.gov.sg

Energy Market Authority
www.ema.gov.sg

U.S. Commercial Service, Singapore Contact
Mr. NG Haw Cheng, Commercial Specialist
Email: Hawcheng.Ng@trade.gov

LABORATORY & SCIENTIFIC EQUIPMENT

» OVERVIEW

Research, innovation and enterprise are the key focus of Singapore’s national strategy to develop a knowledge-based, innovation-driven economy. As such, the city state will maintain research and development spending at about 1% of GDP. The Research Innovation Enterprise (RIE) 2020 Plan aims to support and translate research into solutions that address national challenges, build up innovation and technology adoption in companies, and drive economic growth. Under the RIE plan over the next four years to 2020, the Singapore government will invest US$13 billion in R&D and innovation activities. This represents an increase of 18% over the previous five-year plan, and signals a strong commitment to research and development and the RIE ecosystem. The four areas of focus are Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, Health and Biomedical Sciences, Services and the Digital Economy, and Urban Solutions and Sustainability.

These seek to deepen Singapore’s technological capabilities and competitiveness in manufacturing and engineering, advance human health and wellness, leverage the country’s digital capabilities and more. Under RIE2020, there will be an additional US$1.8 billion for “white space” which refers to emerging research, innovation, and enterprise activities. Developing deep research and development capabilities continues to remain a key priority.

Almost a decade ago, when Singapore began its push into the biomedical sciences, the medical technology industry was worth US$1.2 billion. Since then, Singapore’s biomedical sciences sector has grown into a sizeable stable of almost 300 companies and businesses. This includes over 30 global medical technology companies that have set up commercial-scale manufacturing plants in Singapore.

Singapore has also become a nexus for international research and development collaborations. The Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE) has 15 joint research programs between Singapore universities and ten top overseas institutions including the U.S.’ Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). There are currently more than 20 research institutes under Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology & Research (A*STAR) whose breadth span fundamental to applied research, producing breakthrough science in various fields such as biomedical engineering, biochemistry, molecular biology & genetics, chemistry and physics. A*STAR aims to align research with industry demand.

The United States continues to dominate in the area of laboratory and scientific equipment and accounts for approximately 27% of total imports. However, imports from the U.S. marginally fell by 4% in 2017 and correspondingly, total imports in 2017 also decreased by 3%. Based on available data, U.S. imports are projected to increase in 2018 in lieu of the purchasing cycles for such equipment which is between 5-10 years. As industry replaces equipment, demand is expected to remain consistent.

More than 60% of imports are re-exported as Singapore is a transshipment hub.

The U.S. is considered a leader in the field of scientific and laboratory instrumentation and there is a strong preference for American manufactured products. With Singapore’s keen focus across a broad spectrum of industries, such as advanced manufacturing, precision engineering, chemicals, and biomedical sciences, exports of American laboratory and scientific equipment is expected to remain strong.

» LEADING SUB-SECTORS

Demand for laboratory and scientific equipment comes from industry clusters such as the biomedical sciences, clean technologies (which encompasses environmental and water technologies), electronics, microelectronics, aerospace, petrochemicals, specialty chemicals, marine and offshore engineering, interactive and digital media, data storage, and institutional research and development laboratories. Several of these key and leading sub-sectors have also attracted substantial new investment.

This commitment to research, innovation and enterprise will enable Singapore to support and translate research and build up the innovation capacity.

The Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) has also establish two model factories at the A*STAR’s Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Center and the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology. These factories aim to encourage collaboration and development of innovative solutions for companies and stakeholders. Manufacturing remains a key pillar of Singapore’s economy making up 20% of GDP. More than 60 A*STAR research scientists and engineers have been seconded to local companies to help support and grow this sector.

» OPPORTUNITIES

Looking ahead, the Singapore government has budgeted US$13 billion in continued support of research, innovation, and enterprise activities till 2020. 2018, marks the second year of this new RIE 2020 plan for science and technology research.

A significant amount is dedicated to developing the advanced manufacturing sector and there is continued support of the existing biomedical research and development infrastructure, integrating multi-disciplinary research and translating basic science into tangible outcomes.

Considerable resources are also being poured into six key research areas, specifically molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, cancer genetics, stem cells and regenerative medicines, immunology and infectious disease, metabolic medicine, and biomedical engineering. Many global companies and Asian enterprises have significant operations in Singapore, including eight of the world’s top ten pharmaceutical companies, all of the top ten medical technology companies, as well as several global skincare and personal care companies. U.S. firms include GE Healthcare, Johnson and Johnson, Amgen, Merck, Baxter, BD, and Procter and Gamble.

Recognizing that Asia is home to half of the world’s population, Singapore is betting on clean technologies as a strategic economic growth area. To achieve this, Singapore has allocated approximately US$580 million to develop five key areas for clean technologies. These are research and development, manpower development, grooming Singapore-based enterprises, branding Singapore’s clean technology industry internationally, and developing a vibrant cleantech eco-system. There are more than 70 water companies present in Singapore and these include U.S. firms such as GE Water and Black and Veach.

» WEB RESOURCES

Trade Shows
OSEA/ OGMtech 2018
November 27-29, 2018

Phar-East 2019
March 18-20, 2019

MEDLAB Asia Pacific 2019
March 27-29, 2019

OSEA/ OGMtech 2018
November 27-29, 2018

Singapore Government Offices
A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research)
www.a-star.edu.sg

Singapore Economic Development Board (SEDB)
www.edb.gov.sg

U.S. Commercial Service, Singapore Contact:
Ms. Luanne Theseira, Commercial Specialist
Email: Luanne.Theseira@trade.gov

AGRICULTURE

» OVERVIEW

As a small country, Singapore has limited agricultural land and domestic food production. The agriculture sector contributes less than 1% of the country’s GDP per capita and 0.119 % of labor force in 2017 (source: World Bank). Singapore produces mainly leafy vegetables and beansprout; and they are consumed domestically. Local famers produce 20% of these vegetables from hydroponic cultivation and the remaining 80% from soil cultivation.

Agro-technology: in view of the country’s limited agriculture land, the country’s agricultural body, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, has taken the lead in shifting the sector towards agro-technology. Started in 1986, the agro-technology program comprises of three components: development of agro-technology parks; development of agro-technology and agri-biotechnology (knowledge of molecular biology applied to large scale and intensive farming); and promotion of investments in the agri industry.

With a total landmass of 1,465 hectares (3,620 acres), its six agro-technology parks, comprising of 200+ farms, produce a diverse range of products, including livestock, eggs, milk, fruits, vegetables, orchids, and aquarium and food fish. The agro-technology parks comprise of modern farms that develop and use advanced technologies for intensive farming systems and export product and services to regional countries.

In developing Singapore as a hub of excellence in tropical agro-technology services, AVA has developed an agri-botehcnology cluster in the Agri-Bio Park (ABP). The APB comprises of activities such as R&D in fish vaccines; food safety and animal/plant health testing; and post-harvest technology.

» LEADING SUB-SECTORS

DAIRY PRODUCTS

Generally, prospects are bright for U.S. dairy product sales to Singapore due to continued steady economic conditions, middle class expansion, dietary pattern shifts, growing food manufacturing industry, and healthier lifestyles which acknowledge dairy products’ role in health and nutrition. There was a 31.5% increase in sales of U.S. import of dairy products from $ 42 million in 2016 to $ 56 million in 2017. The U.S. was the fifth largest supplier of dairy products in 2017, preceded by the top four countries of New Zealand, Australia, France and Thailand.

Some dairy products tend to perform better than others; and each sector is largely dominated by single brands – such as Kraft in processed cheese products; F&N in milk products; and Yakult in yoghurt products. According to Euromonitor, cheese posted a 3% current value growth in 2017 but was marginally slower than the review period. This indicated a stable demand that was driven by a higher number of consumers, which Euromonitor identified as mostly younger adults who have been exposed to Western food and are increasingly familiar with products like cheese. Trending food using cheese (such as cheese fries, cheese tarts, etc.) had also helped to stimulate local demand for cheese. However, Cheese/cheese products remained price sensitive and last year was no different.

Euromonitor suggested a slower growth in 2017 for milk products. This was attributed to the maturity of the product category and increased competition amongst various brands engaging in price promotions and marketing activities.

Yoghurt and sour milk products recorded a 4 % current value growth in 2017 but growth was marginally slower than the review period as the product headed toward maturity, according to Euromonitor. As consumers are dining out more often, this has led to a greater number of digestive related illness; and this in turn has increased the demand for yoghurt as the product is commonly known to contain good bacteria that is beneficial for the gut and digestion. The opening of yoghurt and frozen yoghurt foodservice kiosks, such as llao llao, also helped to stimulate interest in yoghurt.

FRESH FRUIT

The U.S. continued to dominate the fresh fruit market in 2017 due to price competitiveness, quality, and promotional support provided by U.S. suppliers, brand recognition and supply reliability. Despite a decrease of 12 % compared to 2016, the U.S. still registered a healthy $ 72 million in sales of fresh fruit last year. In addition, Singapore’s highly developed cold chain distribution system helps U.S. fruit prospects. The top U.S. fresh fruit last year were grapes, oranges, cherries and strawberries. The U.S. faces strong competition from Malaysia, Australia, China and South Africa.

In general, local consumers highly regard U.S. fresh fruit quality. Higher income also creates more demand for certain premium air-flown fruit such as strawberries, plums, avocados, blueberries, raspberries and cherries. Local consumers are receptive to U.S. fresh fruit promotional programs and attractive packaging, and educational materials. U.S. exporters have excellent opportunities in the main retail channels of supermarkets, hypermarkets and convenience stores. The fresh fruit market is competitive, with extremely price sensitive retailers and consumers. Street stalls and kiosks selling fresh cut fruit have become increasingly prevalent in malls.

DRIED FRUITS

According to Euromonitor, volume and growth of dried fruit snacks was marginally higher in 2017 than in 2016. The U.S. was the third largest supplier in 2017 after Indonesia and Malaysia at $ 8.3million despite a 5 % decrease from $ 8.2 million in 2016. The demand for snacks in general is expected to remain robust in the years to come, mainly attributed to Singaporeans’ rising disposable income, increasingly busy lifestyles, and growing tendency of Singaporeans to snack.

The relatively small market size has the potential to expand further. As consumers became more conscious of their health, they tend to cut back on consuming unhealthy categories such as sweet cookies and opt for healthier choices such as dried fruit. Consumers with hectic lifestyles have been preferring dried fruit snack and other snacks as their in-between meal solutions. Some consumers also eat these products as a quick solution for their meals, especially when they are continuously on the go and these products give them the convenience to carry around and consume as needed.

PORK

U.S. pork export to Singapore increased last year by almost 20% from 2016: $ 14 million in 2016 to $ 17 million in 2017. This was in tandem with increased U.S. supplies in anticipation of strong domestic demand and higher export. The increase in U.S. production in 2017 was attributed to several factors: increased producers’ profits and lower feed prices (as a result of record harvest of soybeans and corn in 2016 that have spurred hog production to increase globally); U.S. packers’ added capacity; and strong demand from China.

In Singapore, U.S. pork/pork products and offal faced strong competition in 2017 from Brazil, Australia, Netherlands, Spain and China. However, the long term prospects are relatively good as pork is a major protein food staple for the majority of the population, and good prospects in high-end outlets for U.S. pork where consumers pay premium price for higher quality food products.

Import of meat/poultry products – including pork – are regulated under the Wholesale Meat and Fish Act and its subsidiary legislations. They may be imported in chilled, frozen, processed or canned forms. Due to food safety reasons, imports of meat/poultry products are highly regulated. Meat products may only be imported from approved sources, including the U.S. Every consignment of imported meat products must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by a veterinary authority of the exporting country, essentially certifying that Singapore’s animal health and food safety requirements are met. Every consignment of meat products will be inspected by AVA and sampling for laboratory analysis may be required. Some consignments may be placed on “hold and test” pending the outcome of the laboratory analysis. U.S. chilled pork products are subject to trichinella testing as well.

FISH & SEAFOOD

Despite a 5.3% decrease of U.S. export of fish and seafood products from $ 20 million in 2016 to $19 million in 2017, the long-term projections are relatively good. Singaporeans love their fish and seafood products, accounting approximately 40% of a typical diet. According to the latest World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) new Singapore Seafood Guide, the average Singaporean consumes about 48.5 pound of fish and seafood yearly, more than the global average of 40 pound and American average of 3.3 pound of fish and seafood per person/annually. As consumers are increasingly becoming more health conscious, they tend to lean toward selecting healthier food products, including opting for fish/seafood over red meats. However, the market is dominated by mainly regional low cost suppliers from China, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.

U.S. exports are mainly cold water fish and seafood products, and they are especially popular in high-end Chinese restaurants, seafood restaurants and hotels. Products such as lobsters, oysters, cold, scallops, mussels and clams offer the best potential.

Imported fish is regulated under the Wholesome Meat and Fish Act and its subsidiary legislation. Essentially, fish products refer to any varieties of marine, fresh water, crustacean, aquatic Mollusca, marine sponges and other forms of aquatic life. An import permit issued by AVA is required for every consignment of fish and seafood products. They are subject to mandatory inspection by AVA before sale is permitted. Sampling for laboratory analysis may be required. Some consignments may be placed on “hold and test” pending the outcome of the laboratory analysis. Generally, fish may be imported from any country without obtaining a health certificate. However, a health certificate and other restrictions/conditions apply to fish/seafood considered as “high risk” products and fish specified under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

» Opportunities

Due to scarce agricultural land and resources, Singapore imports nearly 90% of its food products from abroad and this, in turn, generates a vibrant and diverse retail foods market, with an assorted range of food products, from basic to high-end organic foods. U.S. products have gained traction in recent years, but competition is fierce. The United States was the third largest supplier at $ 947 million in 2017 and with a market share of almost 10%, behind Malaysia and Australia. The U.S. is a major exporter of fresh fruits, dairy products, meat products, snack foods and pet food.

Growth in consumer spending for consumer goods and food and beverages is expected to stay strong in 2014-18, at an average increase of 5% in local currency terms. However, at this time of writing, with possible trade wars looming between the U.S. and China – and possibly other countries, uncertainities cloud the economy. The Business Review in its analysis predicts that Singapore’s economic growth will inevitably slow down to 1.8% in 2019 from 3.6% in 2017. According to the Singapore Department of Statistics and Research, as of April 2018, retail sales of supermarkets and hypermarkets have gone down by 2.5% month-on-month and 2.3% year-on-year. Compared to the same period last year, sales of food and beverage services decreased 1.2% in April 2018. Nonetheless, as a heavily export-dependent economy, the import of food will continue and opportunities remain open for U.S. exporters in the long-term.

Competition in a small market will remain intense. Despite increased competition from on-line grocers, experts expect strong sales at supermarkets over the next few years due to the effective marketing strategies adopted by leading supermarket chains; higher prices for goods; more willingness to spend on quality; more people choosing to dine at home; and a rising interest in cooking due to popularity of cooking shows on television and social media.

Singapore is at the cross-roads of major air and sea routes in the Asia Pacific region and serves as a hub and major transshipment center for much of the Southeast Asian region and Indian subcontinent. Singapore's important role in regional trade is demonstrated by the fact that re-exports comprise 45-50 % of total exports. The country’s strategic location also contributes to Singapore’s position as a regional food showcase and headquarters for many major food and agricultural multinationals. Singapore has also signed 22 bilateral and regional FTAs. In addition, the country has several concluded but not yet ratified agreements, including the EU Singapore FTA (EUSFTA) and Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for TransPacific Partnership (CPTPP). In the pipeline is also the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) between the 10 ASEAN Member States (including Singapore) and their six trading partners.

» WEB RESOURCES

Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA)
https://www.ava.gov.sg/

Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF)
http://www.smfederation.org.sg/

Singapore Business Federation
http://www.sbf.org.sg/

Singapore Fruits & Vegetables Importers & Exporters Association (SFVA)
http://www.singaporefva.com/

Singapore Chefs Association (SCA)
http://www.singaporechefs.com/

Restaurant Association of Singapore (RSA)
http://ras.org.sg/

Singapore Hotel Association (SHA)
https://www.sha.org.sg/

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
https://www.usda.gov/

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Singapore
Ms. Joani Dong, Agricultural Attache
Email:  Joani.Dong@fas.usda.gov
Contact: Ms. Ira Sugita, Agricultural Specialist
Email: Ira.Sugita@fas.usda.gov
Contact: Ms. Alice Kwek, Agricultural Marketing Specialist
Email: alice.kwek@fas.usda.gov


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