I recently read this article in a book, Heart Works, which is a compilation of snippets by various high profilers on how the Economic Development Board (EDB), Singapore steered the country into the 21st century.
The article, authored by Mr. Lim Swee Say who held several senior appointments in EDB, recalls how they chased the wafer fab projects in Singapore in around 1994. In a great show of synergy, several players pitched in - banking community for funding, specialist manpower, training and knowledge upgrading schemes were made available to graduates and universities were roped in, National Science and Technology Board (now A*STAR) helped to build capabilities in wafer fab process and IC design technology and JTC Corporation pitched in with developing & servicing the fabs along with the service utility entities.
Their first wafer fab project was for Hitachi and an amusing anecdote is about how midway through digging up and preparing the land for the fab, they hit on a rubbish dump which had to be cleared away.
The news would have read “Singapore’s most modern fab sited on a rubbish dump”!