Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say announced the company’s first such relocation outside of Japan in recent decades yesterday at the official opening of Panasonic’s refrigeration compressor business unit (RCBU) in Singapore.
It is a first for Japanese electronics giant Panasonic to moved the global headquarters for its refrigeration compressor business to Singapore.
The manufacturing plant here, which makes refrigeration compressors, will also be transformed from a traditional manufacturing plant into a “smart factory”, which will make use of big data and make processes more automated.
At a press conference yesterday, the company’s top management pledged to keep the jobs of its 650-strong Singapore workforce, even as it turns its operations in Bedok South into a smart factory.
The transfer of the headquarters to Singapore from Kusatsu city, Shiga Prefecture, will result in an increase in staff numbers in the RCBU unit. It could double the size of its research and development team to about 120 engineers in five years. The company’s phasing out of manual jobs will mainly affect its foreign workforce of about 350 workers, mostly from China.
Panasonic wants to cut this workforce by 200 workers in the next three to five years.