Specialised, ready-made facilities needed to attract foreign investors

Having specialised, ready-made industrial facilities is the way to go if Singapore wants to lure more overseas investors here.

The Economic Development Board (EDB) said small and medium-sized companies will likely be the main users of such factories.

Sectors like aerospace and precision engineering are those that need functional, ready-made infrastructure.

EDB said that having such facilities will enable these sectors to start up their operations quickly, while keeping their assets light.

Tan Choon Shian, Deputy Managing Director, EDB, said: “They may not need to start off with their own building, their own land. Because these are high value-added, high technology companies, they tend to have equipment.

So they will need specialised, ready-built factories with floor loading that can take heavier loads, sometimes, they need higher ceilings.

Some of them will need R&D side by side their manufacturing. Therefore they need laboratory space.”

When it comes to building industrial facilities today, developers agree that some investors want to have ready-made facilities fitted to their needs.

This will free up their capital for other uses.

But for other sectors like construction and engineering, such investors might want the flexibility of designing and building their own facilities.

So developers said there is still a need for a balance of options.

Another option is to build more commonly shared industrial facilities for sectors like medical equipment.

Singapore’s largest industrial landlord JTC Corporation said this will help optimise the limited land space here.

Manohar Khiatan, CEO, JTC Corporation, said: “For example, we’re looking at the medical equipment sector. So companies in that sector might have certain common needs for facilities for suppliers.

So by clustering them together, we can create a unique advantage for them.

Similarly we’re looking at companies in the surface finishing centre, again they have common needs for water treatment, waste recovery and so on.

So if we can cluster these companies together and have common facilities, …we can help them to reduce cost because the individual companies don’t have to invest in the facilities themselves.

Secondly we can also harness the synergies from the companies being co-located together.”

About 400 industry players discussed these trends at the JTC Industrial Property Exchange.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 20 Aug 2010

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