Dyson relocates headquarters to Singapore as Brexit looms

Dyson already employs more than 1,000 people in Singapore to run its Singapore Technology Centre.

Dyson has announced it is moving its headquarters to Singapore, the latest move by the British tech giant to relocate most of its core businesses outside of the United Kingdom.

The company, which producers vacuum cleaners, hand dryers, and hair dryers, claims its latest decision has nothing to do with Brexit, despite announcing it will set up its first electric car plant in Singapore at the end of 2018.

Dyson already employs more than 1,000 people in Singapore to run its Singapore Technology Centre for research and development at Science Park One. Its headquarters is currently located in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.

“What we've seen in the last few years is an acceleration of the opportunities to grow a company from a revenue perspective in Asia. All our manufacturing and a majority of our future investments will be in Asia as countries in the region such as China have grown at a rapid pace to the size of mature markets like the United States and Japan,” said Jim Rowan, the chief executive of Dyson, who is based in Singapore.

Even though Dyson’s founder, Sir James Dyson, was one of the most prominent UK business leaders to publicly support Brexit before the referendum in June 2016, Rowan claims the decision did not have anything to do with Brexit or tax benefits, adding that it is for the company to be in the best position to ‘secure opportunities’ and keep an eye on its investments.

This is a major shift from 2017 when the company expanded its UK operations dramatically with the opening of a new 517-acre research and development campus in the Cotswolds. At that time, Dyson said that the move was a bid to increase British tech innovation.

In response to questions from The Straits Times, the Economic Development Board of Singapore's assistant managing director Kiren Kumar said: "Over the past decade, Singapore's manufacturing sector has been steadily transforming into one that competes based on the deep skills of our workforce, the use of advanced technologies such as robotics and automation, and a strong ecosystem of suppliers locally and in the region."

"We believe that Singapore's advantages are a good fit with Dyson's requirements and have made Singapore a natural choice for their relocation.”

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