Singapore water industry contributes S$2.5b in value added to economy annually, creates 14,400 jobs to date

Singapore water industry contributes S$2.5b in value added to economy annually, creates 14,400 jobs to date

Tuas Desalination Plant 1
The Tuas Desalination Plant. (Photo: Koh Yong Sheng)

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s water industry has contributed S$2.5 billion in annual value-add to the economy and created 14,400 jobs to date, putting it on track to meet its 2020 targets. 

Latest figures from national water agency PUB, the Economic Development Board (EDB) and Enterprise Singapore showed that since 2016, the sector has added 400 jobs and contributed S$300 million in value-added to the economy annually.

“Singapore’s water sector continues to experience strong growth, with a robust water ecosystem anchoring Singapore as a leading global hydrohub,” the agencies said in a joint statement on Monday (Jul 9).

This growth is important amid the growing risks of poorly managed urbanisation, climate change and infectious disease threats in developing countries and across the globe, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Monday.

Mr Tharman was speaking at the joint opening ceremony of the Singapore International Water Week, World Cities Summit and CleanEnviro Summit.

“Water is also a good example of how we are growing our efforts in Singapore to help stimulate and share innovation around the challenges and opportunities facing cities around the world,” he added.

“If the problems are not tackled effectively in any one part of the world, they will inevitably spill over into the rest of the world – whether through the spread of infectious disease, forced migration or the spread of conflict and insecurity.”

The three agencies will tap on Singapore’s strengths in water to focus on three areas: Developing global solutions, accelerating the commercialisation and export of technologies and building a range of capabilities and talent.

In the area of developing global solutions, EDB has secured at least three new international companies to set up research and development centres or expand their base in Singapore. The areas of focus include desalination and wastewater recycling.

To accelerate commercialisation and the export of technologies, PUB’s Singapore Water Exchange will house an ecosystem of companies along the water value chain, allowing them to work together and tap on mutual strengths to push water innovation and business growth. The Singapore Water Exchange will begin operations later this year.

As for building a range of capabilities and talent, Enterprise Singapore is working with water technology small- and medium-sized enterprises to transform their business models and improve their productivity, turning them into higher value players.

With over 200 water companies and more than 25 research institutes, the water sector continues to attract investment, the agencies said, indicating it is on track to meet its 2020 targets.

Under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 plan, the water industry is expected to generate 15,000 jobs and contribute S$2.85 billion in value-added to the economy annually by 2020.

Source: CNA/ms