Government takes measures to keep industrial space affordable

Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang announced that the government is implementing strict measures to keep industrial space affordable.

He said that the government also plans to sell the remaining JTC smaller flatted factory space to owners and occupiers rather than divesting them into a real estate investment trust (Reit).

"We are at the tail end of the divestment process (and) are considering trade sales (in which) we sell individual buildings, or if the owners and occupiers are able to form bodies, we're happy to look into selling it to them too," said Mr. Lim.

The government decided to divest JTC's generic multi-storey, multi-user factory space, starting 2008 and August last year.

Lim noted that with JTC's market share of just 18 percent, divesting was necessary to "level the playing field" for all small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as "promote the vibrancy of the space segment."

Rapid increases in industrial rents and how they could impact SMEs was one of the main issues raised during the Budget debate.

The minister noted that the increase in rentals following the transition period "may appear large" since the rental cap affected SMEs during the first phase of divestment, as they had paid six to 25 percent below the market rate when they renewed their tenancies three years after divestment.

He added that the government is implementing measures to ensure that industrial space remains affordable. These include JTC's innovative infrastructure projects, such as the upcoming MedTech Hub and Surface Finishing Complex (pictured) and the Business Aviation Complex.

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