Jurong Town Corporation


Jurong Town Corporation

The Jurong Town Corporation (JTC) was set up on 1 June 1968 under the Jurong Town Corporation Act to take over from the Economic Development Board (EDB) as Singapore's principal developer and manager of industrial estates and their related facilities.1 On 15 November 2000, JTC became known as JTC Corporation.2 As a statutory board under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, it continues to manage a wide range of facilities such as industrial land and business parks to meet the diverse industrial needs of companies based in Singapore.3 

Background
Prior to the formation of JTC, the development and management of Singapore’s industrial estates were under the purview of EDB, a statutory board created by the government in 1961 to attract foreign investment and to spearhead Singapore’s industrialisation programme.4 One of EDB’s immediate tasks was to develop Singapore’s first industrial estate – Jurong Industrial Estate – through land reclamation. Factory buildings, roads and utilities were built in what was once a swamp area, and EDB was able to attract foreign companies to set up factories there through offering industrial financing and incentive packages. In 1967, at the end of the first phase of development, the Jurong Industrial Estate had attracted investments worth a total of about S$178 million in fixed assets and generated jobs for some 6,500 workers.5

Formation
As Singapore accelerated its industrialisation programme after gaining independence on 9 August 1965, it became clear to the government that the task of managing industrial estates would become more challenging and complex.6 Therefore, the government decided to remove the responsibility for this work from EDB and assign it to a specialist agency, and consequently JTC was formed. Besides managing and developing Singapore’s industrial estates, JTC was also entrusted with the task of providing facilities to improve the well-being of the people working and living in the estates.7 At the time of JTC’s formation, recreational and social amenities for residents in Jurong were sorely lacking. In fact, then Finance Minister Goh Keng Swee had commented that “life in Jurong cannot be other than spartan”.


To help JTC carry out its key responsibilities, the government provided additional financial backing when the corporation’s funds were insufficient.9 JTC was also empowered to purchase, acquire or lease any land as required, and had board members from the public and trade unions to ensure that the interests of industrialists and workers in the industrial estates were represented.10 Furthermore, relevant staff members from EDB were transferred to JTC so that the expertise in industrial estate management could be retained in the new set-up.11

Early years
Following its establishment, the JTC began creating new industrial estates and enlarging existing ones in order to expand Singapore’s manufacturing sector.12 By the end of 1969, JTC had established a new industrial estate in Senoko and reclaimed some 114 ac (0.5 sq km) of land for the expansion of the Kranji and Sungei Kadut industrial estates. JTC also made available an additional 1,195 ac (4.8 sq km) of industrial land in the Jurong Industrial Estate, thus increasing the area of the estate from 3,650 ac (14.8 sq km) to 4,595 ac (18.6 sq km). This led to an increase in the number of operational factories in Jurong: The figure rose from 153 in December 1968 to 202 a year later.13 Happening concurrently with the industrial development was the improvement in the state of social and recreational amenities in the vicinity. Within the next few years, JTC oversaw the construction of facilities such as the Jurong Bird Park, Chinese Garden, Japanese Garden, Jurong Park, a town centre with shopping and commercial facilities, a drive-in cinema and new executive flats.14 By November 1972, JTC had developed the residential estate, known as Jurong Town, into a self-contained town for its estimated 32,000 residents.15


Later developments16 
Mid-1970s
During this period, JTC started developing facilities for oil refineries on three of the islands (which would later become part of Jurong Island) south of Jurong as Singapore’s economy diversified into the petrochemical industry.17 JTC also oversaw the development of Jurong Port through expansion works.18 

1980s
In the 1980s, JTC initiated a master plan to attract industries that produced high-value-added products to Singapore.19 As part of this plan, JTC was involved in establishing the Singapore Science Park at Kent Ridge.20 The corporation continued to support the growing petrochemical industry by developing more islands off Jurong, including setting up Singapore’s first petrochemical plant on Pulau Ayer Merbau in 1984.21 

1990s
As companies increased the adoption of information technologies in the 1990s, JTC responded by building estates that combined commercial, industrial and office use, such as the International Business Park in Jurong East and the Changi Business Park.22 JTC also established Singapore’s first wafer fabrication park in Woodlands during this period.23 The 1990s also saw the corporation’s continued development of the petrochemical industry through the Jurong Island reclamation project, which involved the merger and development of seven offshore islands into a chemical and petrochemical complex.24

2000s to present
As Singapore focused more on knowledge-based industries at the start of the 21stcentury, JTC began the development of one-north in Buona Vista, which now comprises Fusionopolis, Biopolis and Mediapolis, among other clusters that all support the growth of the science and technology, biomedical, information technology and media industries in Singapore.25 Most recently, on 2 September 2014, JTC unveiled the first underground storage facility for liquid hydrocarbons in Southeast Asia: the Jurong Rock Caverns, located on Jurong Island.26




References
1. Jurong Town Corporation. (1969). Annual Report. Singapore: Author, pp. 1–2 (Call no.: RCLOS 352.0072 JTCAR); Republic of Singapore. Government Gazette. Acts Supplement. (1968, June 1). Jurong Town Corporation Act, 1968 (No. 5 of 1968). Singapore: [s.n.], p. 45. (Call no.: RCLOS 348.5957 SGGAS)

2. Chong, V. (2000, November 16). It's now JTC Corporation. The Business Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Ministry of Trade and Industry. (2012). About MTI: JTC Corporation (JTC). Retrieved from MTI website: http://www.mti.gov.sg/AboutMTI/Pages/JTC%20Corporation%20(JTC).aspx?tag=Statutory%20Boards
4. Koh, T. T. B., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet in association with the National Heritage Board, pp. 167–168. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS])
5. Koh, T. T. B., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet in association with the National Heritage Board, p. 271. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS])
6. Goh tells of Govt plans to speed up economic growth. (1968, April 17). The Straits Times, p. 8. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report. (1968, May 21). Second Reading of the Jurong Town Corporation Bill (Vol. 27). Singapore: [s.n], cols 357–359. (Call no.: RCLOS 328.5957 SIN); Better amenities for Jurong residents. (1968, May 22). The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Jurong Town Corporation. (1969). Annual Report. Singapore: Author, p. 2. (Call no.: 352.0072 JTCAR)
9. Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report. (1968, May 21). Second Reading of the Jurong Town Corporation Bill (Vol. 27). Singapore: [s.n], col. 358. (Call no.: RCLOS 328.5957 SIN)
10. Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report. (1968, May 21). Second Reading of the Jurong Town Corporation Bill (Vol. 27). Singapore: [s.n], col. 362. (Call no.: RCLOS 328.5957 SIN); New body to manage Jurong industries. (1968, May 12). The Straits Times, p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report. (1968, May 21). Second Reading of the Jurong Town Corporation Bill (Vol. 27). Singapore: [s.n], col. 357. (Call no.: RCLOS 328.5957 SIN); Better amenities for Jurong residents. (1968, May 22). The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
12. Campbell, W. (1968, November 28). Industry moves in as British forces prepare to pull out. The Straits Times, p. 12. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Yeo, T. J. (1968, October 26). Jurong gets ready to grow three times. The Straits Times, p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
13. Jurong Town Corporation. (1969). Annual Report. Singapore: Author, p. 5. (Call no.: 352.0072 JTCAR)
14. Jurong Town Corporation. (1969). Annual Report. Singapore: Author, p. 9. (Call no.: 352.0072 JTCAR); Garden town to have 100,000 people: Woon. (1968, December 14). The Straits Times, p. 9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
15. Jurong now fully self-contained town, says JTC. (1972, November 24). The Straits Times, p. 12. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
16. JTC Corporation. (2012, October 31). About JTC: Our History. Retrieved from JTC Corporation website: http://www.jtc.gov.sg/about-jtc/pages/our-history.aspx
17. $26m to join 3 islands into one. (1973, December 19). The Straits Times, p. 8. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
18. Bright future for Jurong Port. (1975, March 15). The Straits Times, p. 13. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
19. Jansen, P. (1980, November 17). JTC unveils its master plan for the Eighties. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
20. Chew, L. (1984, January 17). Science Park opening today. The Straits Times, p. 12. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
21. Wee, A. (1981, October 12). JTC's $2.5b plan for expansion. The Business Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Loh, H. Y. (1984, February 18). Petrochem complex starts production. The Business Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
22. Some 16,500 professionals, technicians may work at first International Business Park. (1992, February 19). The Straits Times, p. 32. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; JTC launches Changi Business Park. (1997, June 26). The Straits Times, p. 58. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
23. Leow, C. (1994, August 25). Govt eyes wafer fab park to woo investors. The Business Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
24. Reclamation to start for Jurong Island project. (1995, March 10). The Straits Times, p. 48. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
25. Chong, V. (2001, December 7).Science parks will be merged with one-north eventually. The Business Times, p. 9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; A hotbed for new discoveries. (2008, October 18). The Straits Times, p. 91. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Oo, G. L. (2001, December 7). 10,000 jobs at biomed hub. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
26. Chia, Y. M. (2014, September 2). Jurong Rock Caverns officially opened after eight years of construction. The Straits Times. Retrieved from: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/business/companies/story/jurong-rock-caverns-officially-opened-after-eight-years-construction-2



The information in this article is valid as at 3 September 2014 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic. 

Subject
Politics and Government
Industrial districts--Singapore
Business, finance and industry>>Industry
Architecture and Landscape>>Building Types>>Commercial Buildings
Organisations
Commerce and Industry>>Industries

All Rights Reserved. National Library Board Singapore 2014.