New commercial clusters can help S’pore become one of world’s biggest hub

Two new commercial clusters will be developed as part of the comprehensive Land Use Plan released by the government on Thursday.

In addition to the existing commercial nodes Jurong Lake District, one-north and Paya Lebar Central, there will be two new corridors in the north and south.

The North Coast Innovation Corridor will span from Woodlands to Punggol and the Southern Waterfront City will extend from Tanjong Pagar to Pasir Panjang Terminal.

The container port operator PSA will move its operations to Tuas in 2027.

Analysts said the new clusters can turn Singapore to become one of the world’s biggest commercial hub.

More land has been allocated for industry and commerce use from 9,700 hectares in 2010 to 12,800 hectares in 2030.

Over the long term, businesses may be tempted to shift to these corridors to attract workers who want to work nearer to their homes.

Ho Meng Kit, chief executive officer at Singapore Business Federation, said: “They can get more workers to work for them and also if we have more nearer to population centre, they have more access to part time workers i.e. housewives, retirees, so the prospect of getting employees for their businesses is good.”

The Singapore Business Federation with some 18,400 members said businesses will consider moving once the infrastructure, facilities and the population catchment are there.

Most of them expect the North Coast Innovation Corridor to be concentrated on manufacturing with some catering to clean tech manufacturing.

This includes freeing up space of the existing Sembawang shipyard to provide land for new business activities like complementing the labour-intensive industries across the causeway in Malaysia.

The Southern Waterfront City will add more prime office space and provide a natural extension of the central business district area.

However, the area be developed so soon only after 2027 after container port operator, PSA moves out of the area to Tuas.

Colin Tan, head of research and consultancy at Chesterton Suntec International, said: “As the CDB gets more and more expensive, it will have to develop and move downwards to provide alternative employment centres. There should be no problem (of filling up the space) because the congregation of offices of similar trades gives you efficiency.”

Property experts said the additional space at the Tanjong Pagar and Pasir Panjang areas can attract banks and other financial institutions to expand.

This can then boost Singapore’s position as a financial and commercial hub.

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