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GSK picks Singapore for Asian hub

Published on 12/03/15 at 09:42am
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Despite GlaxoSmithKline’s ongoing troubles in Asia it has decided to establish a new HQ in Singapore to bolster its presence in the region.

The move mirrors that of Japanese pharma giant Takeda who just this month has also set up new Singapore offices in the Biopolis biomedical complex, with the aim of expanding its emerging markets business.

Sir Andrew Witty GSK’s chief executive, says: “GSK and Singapore’s histories are entwined.  Since building our first site at Quality Road in 1972, we have continued to significantly expand our footprint, capability and talent base. 

“In our experience and my own personal experience, Singapore excels in fostering talent, supporting business growth and offers an excellent base to access Asia. This is why we are making a significant decision to further increase our presence in Singapore as we continue to modernise and advance GSK.” 

The British firm has signed an agreement with Boustead Development Partnership to develop and lease a new building which will be the company’s new Asian HQ. 

Located at the ‘one-north’ development in the Rochester Park area of Singapore, GSK will move all employees currently based in Gateway West there during the second half of 2017, once the site is fully fitted.

The company says this new global hub will support GSK businesses across the region by providing the relevant leadership, expertise and services to make the right decisions. 

An eight-storey, nearly 15,000 sq. metre facility will have capacity for up to 1,000 employees across GSK’s Pharmaceuticals, Vaccines and Consumer Healthcare businesses.  

The firm adds that ‘key leadership’ and Asia expertise is already transitioning into the region with almost 150 global or regional roles moving to Singapore in the last year. GSK already has over 700 office-based employees there and expects an additional 100 roles to move into the country as the HQ nears completion.

GSK has many ties with Asia but not all have been favourable, investigations around a bribery scandal have damaged the firm’s reputation and hit its business in what is a fast-growing emerging market.

That aside congratulating GSK at the opening, Dr Beh Swan Gin, chairman of the Singapore Economic Development board, said: "Singapore is heartened that GSK chose Singapore as the home for its global headquarters for Asia and has decided to establish a new headquarters building here.”

Brett Wells

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