JAPAN'S HOME AWAY FROM HOME
Singapore is also taking a piece of the Asia-frenzy. EDB's "Host-to-Home strategy" is not exclusive to the west. Yeoh says
that many Asian companies have been coming to Singapore to internationalize.
Due in part to anti-Japanese protests in China, some Japanese companies have traded this once more appealing location for
Singapore. According to China's Ministry of Commerce data, Japanese investments have declined considerably in the last quarter
of 2012, as compared to the previous year, with a 32.4 percent drop in October.
Dunlap considers establishing HOYA Surgical Optics' global headquarters in Singapore as one of the company's biggest milestones.
"As a Japan centric company from the start, we realized a number of years ago the need to become a global organization and
to expand our footprint," says Dunlap. He adds that the company uniformly sees the world "being located in Singapore through
a different perspective," a weighty comment from a vision-oriented company.
Another Japanese ophthalmic company, Menicon, developed their most coveted innovation—the world's thinnest one-day disposable
contact lens—in Singapore, at its first manufacturing and R&D facility outside of Japan. Menicon invested over USD 100 million
in the facility.
Koji Kawaura, managing director of Menicon in Singapore, says that for a corporation that specializes in high-tech products,
Singapore is a perfect springboard for developed markets, facilitating better reach to Europe and the US.
"For most companies Asia is a central part of the growth of their business, so it follows that R&D tends to expand in a similar
way," says James Garner, vice president and general manager of Takeda Global Research & Development Center, Asia (TGRD Asia).
The center serves as Takeda's regional hub for non-oncology clinical development in Asia, excluding Japan.
"Before this center was established, Takeda had limited clinical development activity in Asia. Since the creation of TGRD
Asia, 12 percent of global clinical trial subjects are now recruited in this region," he adds.
Chugai, another leading Japanese research-based pharma company announced an investment of SGD 200 million (USD 164 million)
in Singapore over the next five years. The investment follows the establishment of Chugai's second research institute in Singapore,
an antibody engineering technologies lab, Chugai Pharmabody Research (CPR) this July.