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Speech by Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance, at The Solaris @ Kallang 171 Collaboration Ceremony

29 Nov 2017

Mr. Lim Chap Huat
Chairman of Soilbuild Group

Mr. Christian Block
Senior Vice President and General Manager of Qualcomm RFFE Business Unit 

Ladies and Gentlemen
Good morning.

1.    Thank you for inviting me to join you to witness the Solaris @ Kallang 171 collaboration ceremony.

2.    Today, we are witnessing partnership in action. 

a.    Today’s ceremony commemorates the partnership between RF360 and Soilbuild leading to the creation of Solaris, the custom-built industrial development that will occupy this site. 

b.    When ready, Solaris will house RF360’s electronics production facility, offices and R&D labs.

i.    This means that RF360 is poised to create 300 new jobs in the electronics manufacturing sector. 

ii.    I hope that, through this collaboration with Soilbuild, RF360 will be able to anchor even more firmly here in Singapore and strengthen our electronics manufacturing ecosystem, adding to the efforts under the Electronics Industry Transformation Map (“ITM”).

3.    Let me take a moment here to not only congratulate both partners on this collaboration, but also to commend them on their corporate capabilities and commitment. 

a.    It bears saying that this is a sophisticated project that Soilbuild is undertaking, made possible by a set of deep capabilities and an enterprising mindset. 

i.    Soilbuild is a homegrown company who has grown a wide portfolio of properties under your belt, including some in Myanmar. It is heartening that, even as you expand, you are committed to creating new infrastructure that contributes to our future economy.

ii.    You just heard from Ms Lim the story of how Soilbuild changed their plans quickly to design Solaris.  It shows a corporation that is prepared to take a fresh outlook and adjust course along the way in order to act fast on an opportunity.  

b.    I’m happy to hear of the investment that Mr Block just mentioned, and to know that RF360 also takes investment in people seriously.  RF360 has just joined the Singapore-Industry Scholarship (“SgIS”), to offer education and internship opportunities to students, and groom them to eventually take on leadership roles in the electronics sector. 

i.    The SgIS is particularly close to my heart, because I launched it when I was at the Ministry of Education.  

ii.    My hope is to develop our young talents, by offering them opportunities to learn, try, network and connect with mentors in real work places. 

iii.    I thank RF360 for your contribution in this area and for your confidence in Singapore. It shows commitment to developing your people, and it shows corporate leadership.

c.    I hope this partnership marks not only a joining of forces to build a structure, but also a meeting of minds to invest in our people and to push the boundaries to create new value.

4.    Amongst everyone present today, we have industry players from different industry sectors, such as the electronics, or construction sectors.  

a.    You may already understand this instinctively: there is a perpetual, dynamic interplay between all your sectors, and with other sectors.  

b.    To remain competitive, each sector evolves in step with changing customer demand, wider global trends, and new opportunities that come from technology breakthroughs. 

c.    But no sector stands in isolation. As companies and sectors evolve to meet new trends, changing needs within one sector will demand certain capabilities of another related sector, and the evolving capabilities of one sector can shift, even as it meets the needs of another. 

5.    Let us take this project as a ‘live’ example. 

a.    Soilbuild’s Building Information Modelling (“BIM”) capabilities enabled you to quickly develop Solaris in support of RF360’s expansion plans. 

i.    When components manufactured by RF360 get incorporated into sensors and other devices for the Internet of Things (“IoT”), these can feed back to Soilbuild when you design and build future developments using these technologies.  

ii.    With more IoT sensors and devices in smart buildings, facilities management can be made easier and more productive.  

iii.    At the same time, digital technologies cut across every sector. As Infocomm and Media companies raise their competitiveness, they can provide solutions to aid in the digital capabilities development of companies in other sectors. 

iv.    That is just one illustration.  The interactions between driving forces of change, and responses from each company and sector, are myriad.  

6.    Our Industry Transformation Maps are tailoring initiatives of the CFE to the specific challenges and opportunities of our diverse industries. This will help each industry grow according to its strengths and create good jobs for our people.  

a.    We have launched 14 ITMs , and are on track to launch all 23 by March next year.  

b.    Lead agencies, industry players, unions, trade associations and chambers, and other stakeholders have been working hard and very closely on all the ITMs. At the same time, much work remains to be done.

7.    Beyond the transformation of individual sectors, we are also adopting a cluster approach for the ITMs.  The cluster approach seeks synergies in groups of related sectors, where firms can compete better with support from companies across these related sectors. ITMs can therefore reinforce one another, both within and across clusters. 

8.    As we continue on our ITM journey, I hope that we can all work hand-in-hand to develop our workers, our enterprises and our industries, to stay competitive in a future of rapid technological change and keener manpower constraints.

a.    Transformation is an iterative process. I hope industry players will invest in your companies’ and people’s capabilities, and give us your feedback and ideas, as we continually refine the initiatives under the ITMs. 

b.    Even more than what the ITMs can achieve, I hope companies, with the leadership of industry groups, will work together to pool resources and share expertise, such that the benefits are amplified across the industry, even beyond the reach of the individual ITMs. 

9.    Once again, I would like to congratulate Soilbuild and RF360 on this collaboration on the Solaris project. 

a.    I hope both firms will make the most of this opportunity to learn from each other and strengthen your partnership, to develop an excellent facility offering great opportunities for your workers and stakeholders.

b.    May your collaboration bear fruit for all.  I wish you all the best in this project.

10.    Thank you.