Speech by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, at the Distinguished Partners in Progress Award Ceremony 201429 Jun 2015
His Excellency Kirk Wagar, Ambassador to the Republic of Singapore
Mr Edward Monser, President and Chief Operating Officer of Emerson Electric Co.
Dr. Reinhard Ploss, Chief Executive Officer of Infineon Technologies AG.
1. I am delighted to be here this afternoon for the Distinguished Partner in Progress 2014 Award Ceremony.
2. Today, we honour two companies for significant contributions to Singapore – Emerson Electric Co and Infineon Technologies AG. Emerson and Infineon, both global leaders in their respective industries, have built strong partnerships in Singapore, and made substantial investments. They have been key players in Singapore’s transition to high-skill, high-value industry, and created quality jobs for Singaporeans.
3. They are both companies whose relationship with Singapore began early. Emerson started its operations in Singapore in 1965, the same year as our independence, and has since grown to over 2,000 employees. It has made some of its first and largest investments in Asia here in Singapore.
4. Infineon began operations here in 1970 with 50 employees. It has invested more than S$600m in Singapore to-date, and now employs around 2,200 people.
SUCCESSFUL PARTNERSHIP FOR ASIAN GROWTH AND INNOVATION
5. Emerson and Infineon, coming from different sectors, are both committed partners of Singapore. Emerson has contributed significantly to the development of our controls & automation industry; while Infineon has played a key role in our electronics industry.
Singapore as the Home for Business in Asia
6. With Asian markets becoming increasingly important, Emerson and Infineon have successfully grown and managed their business in Asia through their Homes in Singapore.
7. Emerson Process Management, Emerson’s largest business unit, has its Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore. It also opened its Singapore Analytical Manufacturing and Integration Centre last year. The Centre will manufacture analytical and combustion sensors, and also engineer and design analytics-based solutions. This Centre is the first manufacturing facility outside of the USA for Emerson’s Rosemount Analytical technologies, and will serve the entire Asia-Pacific region.
8. Infineon has its Asia-Pacific Regional Headquarters in Singapore. Through the Singapore hub, Infineon undertakes solutions development, product road-mapping and project management for Asia-Pacific.
Singapore as a Home for Innovation
9. In addition to serving as their springboard to pursue growth in Asia, Singapore is also an innovation base for Emerson and Infineon. They have each developed novel products and solutions here for regional and global markets.
10. In particular, both companies have capitalized on the Internet-of-Things, or IOT, in their investments in Singapore. They match Singapore’s efforts to promote IOT to enhance productivity and grow in the face of our tight labour supply.
11. Emerson’s Pervasive Sensing Centre of Excellence was launched last year, and is the company’s first such centre globally. The Centre combines the company’s leadership in sensor and wireless technologies for industrial process facilities with its application expertise and data analytics to provide better and actionable data. It extends beyond traditional process controls to other functions, such as site safety and energy management.
12. Infineon’s Business Analytics Centre of Competence was also set up last year. It will develop new analytic capabilities in market monitoring and analysis to enable decision making in complex business scenarios. The Centre also partners NUS’ Institute of Systems Science for training, and works with Temasek Polytechnic’s School of Informatics & IT to offer student internships.
PARTNERSHIP WITH THE SINGAPOREAN COMMUNITY
13. Emerson and Infineon have given generously to Singapore, through their support for Singapore’s workforce development programmes and their contributions to our community.
Support for Singapore’s Workforce Development Programmes
14. They have been strong partners in developing talent programmes in Singapore, and in developing our Singapore workforce.
15. Emerson’s Graduate Engineers Program enables engineering graduates to undergo rigorous technical and sales training before joining Emerson’s workforce.
16. Infineon has established its regional ENGINE and TechSTAR programmes in Singapore, which serve to develop managerial and technical talent respectively. In addition, Infineon has worked with a number of Singapore universities, polytechnics and ITE to offer students internships. It has offered over 100 internships in this financial year alone. In Singapore, as well as other parts of Asia, Infineon also has a silver workforce agreement, which offers opportunities for mature employees to work beyond the legal retirement age, if they are prepared to do so.
Contribution to the Community
17. Emerson and Infineon have also supported the community.
18. Emerson has partnered various community and outreach organizations such as Willing Hearts, St. Luke’s Hospital and Singapore Boys Brigade. It has supported disaster relief efforts in Southeast Asia, including to people in the Philippines affected by typhoons Haiyan and Ketsana.
19. Infineon’s own volunteer group, Volunteers-In-Action, organizes events for elderly and children homes, and also supported lower-income residents in Toa Payoh East for a year. Infineon has also been a sponsor of the Handicap Welfare Association’s “Wheel, Walk or Job” event for 15 years.
20. In conclusion, today we celebrate Singapore’s strong and growing partnerships with Emerson and Infineon. I extend my heartiest congratulations to the recipients of the Distinguished Partner in Progress Award by the Government of Singapore, and our gratitude for their contributions to Singapore. We look forward to many more years of mutually beneficial partnership.