Singapore’s coronavirus-hit economy has received a shot in the arm from robust global drug demand. The city-state is on course for its worst ever recession this year but factory activity has held up, thanks to countries rushing to stockpile medicines during the pandemic.
The nation just half the size of Los Angeles is a center for drug makers and is home to over 50 factories, owned by big players including Pfizer, Roche, and GlaxoSmithKline.
Singapore’s drug sector “plays an important role in the global pharmaceutical industry supply chain,” according to consultancy IHS Markit. And in 2020, “governments and private-sector firms have been building up inventories of critical drugs as a result of the severe supply chain disruptions in many countries during the pandemic.”
Data highlights the benefits for the trading hub—biomedical manufacturing, which covers pharmaceuticals, has grown strongly, with output expanding 90 percent on-year in September alone.