SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Dyson, the inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner, said on Friday it would invest S$1.5 billion ($1.1 billion) in Singapore over the next four years, the newest phase of a S$4.9 billion global investment plan.
When Dyson announced the global investment plan in 2020, it said the money would be divided between the company’s global head office in Singapore, its two campuses in Wiltshire, southern England, and the Philippines.
On Friday, it launched its new global headquarters in a restored power station in the Southeast Asian city-state, where it plans to hire more than 250 additional engineers and scientists.
The positions will span robotics, machine learning, high-speed electric digital motors, energy storage and more.
Singapore is a hub for Dyson’s research and engineering teams, as well as commercial, advanced manufacturing and supply chain operations. It has more than 1,400 staff in the country, including 560 engineers and scientists.
Singapore, a low-tax global business centre, has been ramping up efforts to lure technology and research firms.
“This is the future for technology companies – to go wherever talent is available and made welcome,” its prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, said at the opening of the headquarters.
“It is also the future for Singapore – to welcome companies and talent, which can help make us a hub of new ideas and scientific progress.”
Founded by British entrepreneur James Dyson in the 1990s, the company became a household name from developing sleekly designed products ranging from hand driers and air purifiers to hair care tools and vacuums.
Dyson, a billionaire Brexit supporter, announced plans in 2019 to move his company’s head office to Singapore to be closer to its fastest-growing markets, sparking a backlash at home.
The company has other sites in Singapore, including an engineering hub, a motor manufacturing facility and a new battery factory.
Southeast Asia is a major production base for Dyson with Malaysia counting as its second-biggest global hub.
Last year, Dyson split with its supplier ATA IMS Bhd following an audit of the Malaysian company’s labour practices and allegations by a whistleblower.
ATA made parts for Dyson’s vacuum cleaners and air purifiers.
(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Ed Davies)