What Do You Expect From Singapore Budget 2020?
An industry survey found that the majority of companies across all major industries want tax relief in the Singapore Budget 2020 due to be announced next month as they prepare for a tough year ahead.
According to the annual National Business Survey by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), a report released on January 14th, Tuesday. It was stated that a majority comprising of both large companies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) ranked corporate/income tax reduction and rebate to help upskill staff as the top two priorities for Budget 2020.
Approximately 50% of the survey respondents seek support in other areas, such as easier access to information and resources from government agencies, incentives for industry-related training as well as corporate venturing. The annual survey that was carried out from August 26th to October 25th drew responses from more than a thousand companies.
More Challenging Business Climate
After a year wrought by economic uncertainties, companies are seeking relief which is partly because of the US-China trade dispute. A majority of respondents had the opinion that Singapore’s business climate had taken a turn for the worse over the last 12 months. They were also unsatisfied with the regional and global business environment compared to 2018.
44% expect similar conditions in Singapore for the year ahead while 49% anticipate a more challenging business climate. Many more are also worried over the global economic climate. There are a few key concerns for 2020, which are the rising business costs, rising wages, the uncertainties created by the US-China trade tensions and China’s economic slowdown. Among the three top challenges for local businesses are manpower costs, business competition and finding new or better ways to grow revenue.
It was noted by the SBF that manpower issues continue to frustrate local companies. It is shown in the survey that although many businesses are struggling with the rising labour costs, tighter government policies on hiring foreigners are increasing the competition as well as the pressure in securing the best local talent on many companies. Four out of 10 businesses also mentioned the challenges faced in attracting or retaining younger workers.
Singapore Businesses Continue to Venture Out and Expand Overseas
Singapore businesses continue to venture out and expand overseas despite the uncertainties. It is noted that eight in ten businesses have an overseas presence. Internationalisation is popular and widely spread, especially among SMEs. In order to diversify their supply chains and to support sustainable growth, it is important for Singapore companies to expand overseas to access new markets. This is because Singapore’s domestic market is small and have certain limitations. It is a positive and motivating scene to witness as SMEs continue to aggressively extend their global footprints despite the economic uncertainty that shrouded 2019.
With the World Health Organisation declaring the Wuhan Coronavirus a global health emergency, businesses hope that Budget 2020 will provide relief to help them tide over the impact of international travel restrictions on tourism and retail and significant disruptions to supply chains.