Businesses in Singapore are keeping their fingers crossed about seeing increased support from the government in at least one of the following four areas – business environment, cost, future-ready policies, and manpower support – in the Budget 2016.

Based on feedback from the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s (SCCCI) Pre-Budget 2016 Survey, the SCCCI has compiled a “wish list” of recommendations for the government to help businesses overcome their challenges in 2016 and beyond.

Amidst the uncertain economic conditions, this wish list includes:

  1. For the Government to be more nimble, efficient and bold to create a pro-business environment for businesses and SMEs to thrive and drive Singapore’s economic growth.
  2. For a Cost Review Committee to be set up to comprehensively look at major rising costs faced by businesses, such as rental, manpower, utilities, transport cost and government fees. This also include easing compliance costs through a coordinating government agency, and rental cap on government properties.
  3. For the Government to help develop Future-ready SMEs by providing Pro-SMEs schemes to transform, innovate and help SMEs build track records both locally and abroad. Make schemes on changing business model and innovation easier for SMEs to qualify and apply.
  4. For the Government to provide support on manpower issues, through subsidies for hiring and training of older workers; support industry trade associations to develop skills ladder classification for Levy & Work Pass Renewal; and enable more SMEs to benefit from SkillsFuture.

SCCCI president Thomas Chua said, “With the support of government funding, business has made strong effort in their transformation either at company level or at sector level.”

“However, the transformation has reached a stage that government needs to align their policy and collaborate even more broadly with the business, especially via the trade associations. This will ensure that business cost can be managed and government programmes can be integrated with the business needs.”

Image: Shutterstock

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