Singapore’s drug sector is a rare bright spot

Singapore has long been a major exporter of electronics, from microchips to computer hard disks, but the city state has recently sought to diversify its manufacturing sector. However, the health of Singapore’s drug sector is a rare bright spot for the city’s economy, and also for trade worldwide.

The biomedical industry—which also covers making high-tech medical devices such as pacemakers—now employs more than 24,000 people and accounts for about 20 percent of the manufacturing sector, according to risk consultancy Fitch Solutions.

Singapore, with a population of 5.7 million, is one of the few countries that exports more pharmaceuticals than it imports. In 2019, it shipped pharma products worth 8.1 billion dollars while importing 3.1 billion dollars-worth, according to Fitch.

Authorities have promoted cutting-edge research to grow the economy, committing to invest nearly 20 billion dollars in research and innovation for the next five years.

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