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Business Times - 18 Nov 2009

Siemens' solutions hub testament to S'pore's ability to be home for innovation


SENIOR Minister Goh Chok Tong reiterated yesterday the importance of the three-pronged 'host to home' strategy in adapting to the demands of a post-crisis world.

'While Singapore will continue to be a good host for businesses, we want companies to see us as their 'home' as well, specifically as home for business, home for innovation and home for talent,' Mr Goh said, in reference to the 'host to home' strategy championed by the Economic Development Board to keep the best of talent and businesses here.



Mr Goh also stressed the need for Singapore to evolve on three counts - from an efficient hub to an essential one, from helping firms with their bottom line to helping them grow their top line, and from merely adding value to creating value.




He was speaking as guest of honour at STMicroelectronics' 40th anniversary celebration gala dinner yesterday.

In his speech, he noted that STMicroelectronics, with its Asia-Pacific headquarters and 5,700 employees based in Singapore, is a prime example of how Singapore can be home to companies in all three areas.

In February, Rolls-Royce lent the 'Home for Business' effort some advance momentum when it moved its global marine headquarters from London to Singapore.

'Rolls-Royce has a long and proud heritage in Singapore, where we are continuing to expand our presence,' Jonathan Asherson, Rolls-Royce Singapore's regional director for Southeast Asia, told BT yesterday.

'The government's commitment to developing a highly skilled workforce, and an economic strategy that supports high-value manufacturing and services, makes it a very attractive destination for business and has certainly influenced our decision to expand our operations here,' Mr Asherson said.

Mr Goh also referred to Siemens' move to open its 'City of the Future' solutions centre inSingapore this year as testament to the country's ability to be a home for innovation.

'Siemens believes Singapore is a living laboratory that can help it develop new products and services for urban populations,' he said.

Bolstering Singapore's drive to become a home for talent will be the establishment of the new Singapore University of Technology and Design and the Singapore Institute of Applied Technology.

'In addition to nurturing our home-grown talent, 'home for talent' is also about being a talent magnet, by creating the right environment for a diverse talent base to flourish,' Mr Goh said.

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