According to the Managing Director of the Economic Development Board (EDB) Chng Kai Fong on Monday (9 March), the Covid-19 outbreak from Wuhan, China will not likely dampen investment commitments to Singapore in the next few years.
Mr Chng spoke to a group of around 120 attendees at the Singaporean-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce event regarding the need to diversify the supply chains after backlogs caused by Chinese factories in the midst of the Covid-19 outbreak. The event was held at the Mandarin Oriental hotel.
“In the short term, yes, (foreign direct investments) get hit in the sense that I’m having far (fewer) meetings this period than before…But… in the medium term, this virus is not a consideration…Those are good factors for us. So, I would say, in the next year or two, we still remain rather optimistic about Singapore,” Mr Chng remarked.
He also highlighted the primary focus on the need to expand and enhance capabilities in the ASEAN market, consider different sourcing, and diversify the supply chains.
During the early part of the event titled “Covid-19: Thinking about managing supply chain disruptions”, Mr Chng stressed that firms may not be able to leave China easily due to the complexity and scale of the goods being manufactured by the world’s biggest manufacturer.
The EDB has been in contact with businesses about supply chain resilience even prior to the outbreak of Covid-19 which originated in China.
“Over the last few years, the conversation has gained more traction…But it’s not so easy to change supply chains overnight… These are long-term investments. The relationship with suppliers is not built overnight…But the good thing is, you start to see some consciousness. People are no longer just looking at where can I produce for the lowest cost…People are starting to realise that there is… a premium to be paid to make sure that the supply chains are resilient,” Mr Chng concluded.