Speech by Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry, at JTC and SBF MOU Signing Ceremony

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. A very good afternoon. It is a great pleasure to join you today for the MOU signing between JTC and the Singapore Business Federation (SBF).

Industry 4.0 is key to the manufacturing sector remaining a driving pillar of Singapore’s economy

  1. Manufacturing is a key pillar of Singapore’s economy, contributing over 22% to our nominal GDP in the first half of 2020. Amidst the economic headwinds brought about by COVID-19, our overall manufacturing output has remained resilient with bright spots in sectors such as electronics, precision engineering and biomedical manufacturing.

  2. With the advent of new technologies in Industry 4.0, manufacturing is evolving rapidly, becoming more automated, data-driven, and environmentally sustainable. The disruptions brought about by Covid-19 have highlighted the importance of such capabilities for our businesses.

  3. For our manufacturing sector to remain globally competitive and continue creating quality jobs, businesses must be able to integrate these technologies into their innovation and production processes. Those that have been able to do so can have greater visibility and control over their operations, allowing them to respond more nimbly to any changes.

Working together to better position businesses for Industry 4.0 opportunities

  1. Creating a conducive ecosystem for the sector’s development is a key priority for our economic agencies such as JTC. One key example of this is the Jurong Innovation District (JID), which we are developing to be Asia’s leading advanced manufacturing hub.

  2. With the full manufacturing value chain from research institutes and innovation labs, to training providers and production facilities, the District will bring about closer collaboration across the sector and help to grow our skilled workforce. New entrants to JID such as Hyundai and Makino demonstrate the confidence top companies have in our vision, and will also create exciting new opportunities for our local enterprises and workers.

  3. Beyond the physical infrastructure, JTC is also building a collaborative community that can help each other to stay ahead of the curve. For example, in January this year, JTC launched Industry Connect, to help businesses across its estates grow through technology adoption while enhancing talent development and environmental sustainability. With over 14,000 industrial tenants, JTC can effectively promote transformation to many companies by connecting them to solutions providers, trade associations, and other government agencies.

  4. To date, over 1,000 businesses in JTC’s estates have been engaged through various industry outreach initiatives, with around 200 companies embarking on their Industry 4.0 journey. Leading players in the business community are sharing relevant technologies and experience to address problems faced by various industries.

  5. This has created many opportunities for our businesses and their workers.
    1. For example, through JTC’s introduction, Osteopore, a local medtech SME that manufactures 3D-printed bone regenerating implants, signed up for a programme by McKinsey. With the diagnostics report, they were able to redesign the process flow to improve productivity. During the circuit breaker, they were able to double their output despite operating at half strength.
    2. Encouraged by the results, they are planning to further automate their production process to allow 24/7 operations by early next year. The firm also continues to hire and train new workers of all ages to perform higher value-add roles. This includes a 56-year-old former hairdresser who has successfully upskilled and now operates 3D printers.

New initiatives to support and accelerate the next phase of Industry 4.0 transformation

  1. Supporting our enterprises in their transformation efforts is not the role of the Government alone. Industry partners such as our trade associations are also critical in supporting the sector. Working closely as a community, they help equip companies with capabilities and partners that will take their businesses forward. The SBF, as Singapore’s apex business chamber, is no exception, and is a key partner for both businesses and the Government.
    1. For example, JTC recognised the desire of Seng Hua Hng Foodstuff to optimise the performance of its equipment, and recommended that it participate in SBF’s IHCI Enabler Programme. Through the programme, the company, popularly known for its Camel Nuts products, put in place a digital performance engine to enable real-time data collection and monitoring of their automated production line. Through targeted interventions and performance management, they were able to achieve a 16% increase in output.

  2. To take these efforts to the next level, I am pleased to announce the JTC-SBF Industry Transformation Initiative that will be established through today’s MOU. This new collaboration will allow JTC and SBF’s combined network of companies to more easily access relevant Industry 4.0 resources across JTC and SBF’s networks and platforms. Together with partners, they will also conduct joint engagement sessions for companies, and work closely to share their experience and further strengthen the various initiatives.

  3. Companies will be able to participate in curated workshops and capability building initiatives tailored to their level of Industry 4.0 readiness, and develop roadmaps to guide their implementation. By combining forces, SBF and JTC can also connect participating companies to a larger pool of technology partners for solution matching, and who can follow up to help companies develop the know-how to implement and scale Industry 4.0 solutions in their production settings.


  1. By working together, I am confident that the manufacturing sector can emerge stronger and harness new opportunities in Singapore and beyond. I hope that these platforms encourage more companies to step up and push ahead with your business transformation plans, and I look forward to seeing the evolution of the advanced manufacturing sector in Singapore.

  2. Thank you.