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How Singapore Reclaimed Its Manufacturing Mojo

SINGAPORE—The factory of GlobalFoundries The Fab 7 from Inc. emits beeps, whistles and whirls, the sounds of robotic arms and other machines making chips for smartphones and cars. It’s one of the semiconductor maker’s most advanced facilities, and few of its roughly 350 manufacturing steps require humans.

By courting factories like this, Singapore has become one of the few wealthy countries to reverse its manufacturing downturn. The city-state has faced industrial decline, with World Bank figures showing manufacturing fell to 18% of gross domestic product in 2013 from 27% in 2005.