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The former Tanglin Halt Industrial Estate was one of the first industrial estates in Singapore. Measuring some 20 acres of land and comprising a total of 38 factory lots for cottage industries, the establishment of the Tanglin Halt Industrial Estate marked Singapore’s drive into industrialisation and diversification from a declining entrepot economy. Tanglin Halt was chosen for its close proximity to the former Malayan Railways and large labour catchment.
Managed by the Jurong Town Corporation (JTC), the former Tanglin Halt Industrial Estate was developed in the 1960s to house light and medium industries. Land was leased to budding industrialists on easy repayment terms and tax incentives were given to multinational corporations. By the end of the decade, Tanglin Halt was home to a smorgasbord of factories. Among these were Singapore Electronics (Setron), Van Houten chocolate factory, Diethelm aluminium factory and Unitex garment factory. The Setron factory at Tanglin Halt rolled out Singapore’s first black and white television in 1964.
In the late 1980s, factories at the former Tanglin Halt Industrial Estate began to relocate to bigger industrial estates and industrial clusters in order to enjoy economies of scale. Today, high-rise offices modern industrial buildings such as Haw Par Corporation Technocentre and One Commonwealth have replaced these labour intensive factories, indicating a shift in the structure of the Singapore’s economy.