New alliance of industrial parks to help global manufacturers expand in Southeast Asia

08, Feb. 2021

On Feb. 3, 2021, Chan Chun Sing, Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry (3rd from left), launched the SMA alliance to promote a network of industrial parks to manufacturers interested in investing in Singapore and the region. Joining the minister at the launch were, from left, Kelvin Teo, Sembcorp Development CEO; Png Cheong Boon, CEO of Enterprise Singapore; Manohar Khiatani, senior executive director of CapitaLand Group and chairman of Nusajaya Tech Park; Beh Swan Gin, chairman of Singapore Economic Development Board; Eugene Park, executive director and CEO of Gallant Venture. (Photo by Singapore Economic Development Board)
On Feb. 3, 2021, Chan Chun Sing, Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry (3rd from left), launched the SMA alliance to promote a network of industrial parks to manufacturers interested in investing in Singapore and the region. Joining the minister at the launch were, from left, Kelvin Teo, Sembcorp Development CEO; Png Cheong Boon, CEO of Enterprise Singapore; Manohar Khiatani, senior executive director of CapitaLand Group and chairman of Nusajaya Tech Park; Beh Swan Gin, chairman of Singapore Economic Development Board; Eugene Park, executive director and CEO of Gallant Venture. (Photo by Singapore Economic Development Board)

By Celine Chen

SINGAPORE, NNA - Global manufacturers planning to invest in Singapore and the surrounding Southeast Asian countries can join a new alliance of industrial parks as strategic partners to leverage on their complementary strengths to grow their business in the region and diversify their supply chains.

Called the Southeast Asia Manufacturing Alliance (SMA), it will also connect small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and suppliers in Singapore with these manufacturers to help them explore more opportunities in the region.

Launched on Feb. 3, the alliance is based on a tripartite agreement between private sector partners and two statutory boards - Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG).

Beh Swan Gin, chairman of EDB, said: “Southeast Asia is an ideal manufacturing location for companies looking to strengthen the resilience of their supply chains and reduce reliance on a single source. The Southeast Asia Manufacturing Alliance will make it easier for manufacturers to learn about the advantages and strengths of the participating industrial parks and their respective ecosystems, and simplify the process for companies to establish their operations there.”

Png Cheong Boon, CEO of ESG, said the SMA platform will create growth opportunities for Singapore companies to offer their products and services to global manufacturers and collaborate in innovation, product development and investments.

SMA’s first three strategic partner companies are CapitaLand, Sembcorp Development and Gallant Venture. Collectively, they operate more than 10 industrial parks across Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Under a collaboration agreement, companies which intend to invest in both Singapore and the CapitaLand-owned Nusajaya Tech Park in Iskandar Malaysia will stand to enjoy benefits offered by CapitaLand, EDB and ESG.

The privileges include a differentiated tier of pricing for logistics services; complimentary services, such as consultation on business set-up in Malaysia; and supplier matching services. In addition, the investors will receive support for Industry 4.0 pilot implementation with Singapore solution providers and innovation activities undertaken in Singapore.

Manohar Khiatani, senior executive director of CapitaLand Group and chairman of Nusajaya Tech Park Sdn Bhd, said: “Given its close proximity to Singapore as well as its quality offerings, Nusajaya Tech Park serves as an ideal base for companies seeking to enjoy the complementary strengths of Singapore and Malaysia. Today, over 85 percent of Nusajaya Tech Park’s tenants already have a presence in both countries."

Under the auspices of the SMA, the park will be even better placed to support more manufacturing companies looking to twin their business operations in Singapore and Malaysia, he added.

Kelvin Teo, CEO of Sembcorp Development Ltd, which boasts a huge portfolio of industrial parks in Southeast Asia, said, "We have guided over 1,000 manufacturers in their investment cycle. This alliance is an opportunity for Singapore-based manufacturers to leverage the twin offerings of Singapore industrial developers and Singapore agencies for more strategic positioning in Southeast Asia.”

Eugene Park, executive director and CEO of Gallant Venture, said its Batamindo Industrial Park and Bintan Industrial Estate on Indonesian islands near Singapore have already benefited numerous companies since their formation.

"Through this Southeast Asia Manufacturing Alliance, we are able to further strengthen and leverage each of our natural competitive advantages to create a compelling environment for businesses' long-term success while strengthening the attractiveness of the Singapore-Batam andBintan twinning model,” said Park.

While developing countries in Asia managed to weather the economic impact of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, drawing an estimated $476 billion in foreign direct investment in 2020, flows to members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plunged by 31 percent to $107 billion, according to the United Nations Conference On Trade And Development (UNCTAD).

Companies interested to expand their businesses in Singapore and Southeast Asia through the SMA programme can contact client_services@edb.gov.sg for details. EDB and ESG also welcome applications by companies interested to be a strategic partner of SMA.