How Singapore Got Its Manufacturing Mojo Back

SINGAPORE—The factory floor at GlobalFoundries Inc.’s Fab 7 beeps, whooshes and whirs—the sounds of robotic arms and other machines making chips for smartphones and cars. It is among the semiconductor maker’s most advanced facilities, and few of its 350-odd manufacturing steps require humans.

In courting factories like this, Singapore has become a rare wealthy country to reverse its manufacturing downturn. The city-state had faced industrial decline, with World Bank figures showing manufacturing falling to 18% of gross domestic product in 2013, from 27% in 2005.

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