In a year that could be challenging for economies around the globe, Singapore still hopes to attract its fair share of foreign investments and estimates that it could create between 19,000 and 21,000 new jobs.
The Economic Development Board (EDB) said at its 2016 year-in-review briefing yesterday that it still expects to secure $8 billion to $10 billion in fixed-asset investment this year.
This investment range could be the "new normal".
"The overall outlook reflects the steady growth in Asia and Singapore's resilience as a strategic location to drive growth and innovation," said the EDB.
Last year's inbound investment totalled $9.4 billion and is now expected to result in 20,100 new jobs, topping the 16,800 expected jobs in 2015. Nevertheless, last year's inflow of investments was well down from the $11.5 billion in 2015 and the lowest since 2005. EDB managing director Yeoh Keat Chuan noted that last year's results were "in keeping very much with the medium-term sustainable levels" of Singapore's economic development, which has been focused on creating higher value-added activity.
"We believe that Singapore is attracting its fair share of investments and that it remains competitive," he said.
Chairman Beh Swan Gin added: "We will continue to seize economic opportunities brought about by growth sectors, including advanced manufacturing, hub services and digitalisation, and help Singaporeans take up new jobs with skills upgrading programmes."
One EDB initiative involves trying to consolidate Singapore's position as a high-value manufacturing base by capturing opportunities in advanced manufacturing.
"We will also focus on transforming existing industries to boost our economic competitiveness and uncover new business opportunities for companies in Singapore," said Dr Beh.
He also noted that the growth of Asia and technological change will offer opportunities.
He said Singapore must be agile "to seize opportunities that will come about", adding that its economic fundamentals remain strong.