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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        24 January 2011

Singapore has high FDI investments

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Singapore achieved record high investment commitments last year and this momentum is expected to continue into this new year.

The Economic Development Board (EDB) said international firms invested S$12.9 billion in fixed assets such as facilities and equipment last year.

This surpassed EDB's fixed asset investment forecast of between S$10 billion and S$12 billion in 2010.

When the investment projects committed in 2010 are fully implemented, EDB said it will create a record number of 21,300 new skilled jobs.

It will also contribute S$14.4 billion in value-added per year to the country's economic growth.

This is the second highest achieved ever. The highest value-added expected to be generated from investments here was in 2008 with S$14.7 billion.

EDB said the economic rebound and prevalence of growth opportunities in Asia spurred companies to step up their investment interest and look for a home base in the region.

With positive sentiments in Asia's growth this year, EDB is planning to attract between S$12 billion and S$14 billion in fixed asset investments (FAI) which will create up to 19,000 skilled jobs this year.

Total Business Spending per annum came in at S$8.6 billion last year and EDB's forecast for 2011 is between S$7.5 billion and S$9 billion.

EDB said the strong FAI forecast for 2011 is in part indicative of the interest in downstream speciality chemicals projects that have been enabled by the two recent petrochemical crackers.

It also expects that continued and growing interest in Singapore as a home base in Asia will help sustain total business spending for 2011 at last year's levels.

EDB said it will build on the early successes of its Home strategy to extend its outreach beyond multinational companies and Asian enterprises to include global mid-sized companies looking to set up their first presence in Asia.

It will also promote innovation and commercialisation activities that lead to the creation of products and services for the Asian and global markets.

EDB will also initiate and support the launch of talent and leadership development programmes to firmly entrench Singapore's position as the home for talent in Asia.

Leo Yip, Chairman of the Economic Development Board, said: "We see ourselves offering value to global companies that are expanding in Asia but at the same time, value to Asian companies that are going global.

"EDB's home strategy has also been gaining traction in 2010, we see that continuing into 2011 and that's really a strategy to have companies use Singapore as their strategic location to grow, to expand their business, their innovation, their talent activities to help them to grow [not just] in Asia but also globally

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This year in Thailand-what next?

04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

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