SINGAPORE: Apple’s plan to invest over US$250 million (S$340 million) to expand its campus at Ang Mo Kio has been widely welcomed in Singapore, amid the tech giant’s CEO Tim Cook’s tour of Southeast Asia in search of growth markets from Hanoi to Jakarta. Mr Cook arrived in Singapore on Thursday (Apr 18) to meet with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his successor Lawrence Wong.

It also said that the purpose of Mr Cook’s visits to the region is also to seek manufacturing locations “to offset headwinds in China.”

“Singapore is truly a one-of-a-kind place, and we are proud of the connection we’ve built with this dynamic community of creators, learners, and dreamers. With our growing campus, Apple is writing a new chapter in our history here,” Mr Cook said in the statement.

The Apple CEO was in Vietnam on Apr 16, meeting with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and pledging to up investments.

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“He said Apple plans to buy more components and accessories for its devices from Vietnam’s suppliers, a big boost for the country as it emerges as a global electronics hub,” reported Bloomberg.

The following day, he met with President Joko Widodo in Indonesia, where the country’s fourth Apple Developer Academy is set to be launched in Bali.

“We’re excited by the growing developer community in Indonesia, and we look forward to investing in the success of even more coders with our fourth academy in the country,” said Mr Cook.

Apple is reportedly considering manufacturing some of its products in Indonesia, and the government said on Apr 18 that it will consider incentives to attract more investments from the tech giant, which may include tax incentives, which India and Thailand have offered.

As iPhone sales have declined in China due in part to a ban on its use among government agencies and state-owned companies, Southeast Asia is becoming an even more important market for Apple.

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On its expansion of the AMK facility, Apple called it “The latest milestone in Apple’s over four decades of work fostering job creation and deep connections with the local community, and will provide space for growth and new roles in artificial intelligence and other key functions.”

Over 3,600 people are employed by the tech giant in Singapore. /TISG

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