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  • SBF invites further inputs on its Position Paper for a Vibrant Singapore

SBF invites further inputs on its Position Paper for a Vibrant Singapore

  • Calls for views on the 18 recommendations in the Paper
  • Reiterates that the intent of the Paper is to generate good discussions leading to solutions for the greater good and prosperity of Singapore and its citizens
  • SBF Position Paper formally presented to Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance and Chairman of the Committee on the Future Economy 

12 January 2016 [Singapore] The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) invited further inputs from the broader business community on its Position Paper for a Vibrant Singapore at a conference today attended by some 400 members of the business community. 

In his welcome address, SBF Chairman Mr S S Teo took the opportunity to reiterate that the intent of the SBF Position Paper is to generate good discussions leading to solutions for the greater good and prosperity of Singapore and its citizens.  He called on the business community to share their views on the Paper and expressed the hope that wider public discussions will lead to the formulation of better Government policies for the future of Singapore and our businesses. 

The highlight of the conference was the formal presentation of the SBF Position Paper to Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance and Chairman of Committee on the Future Economy. The presentation was preceded by a panel discussion on the Position Paper with prominent members of the business community including Mr Philip Ng, CEO, Far East Organization; Mr Samuel Tsien, CEO, OCBC Bank; Mr Yeoh Oon Jin, Executive Chairman, PwC Singapore; Mr Peter Ho, CEO, Hope Technik and Mr Han Fook Kwang, Editor at Large, SPH. 

The conference kicked off with a presentation of the SBF National Business Survey 2015/16. In a panel discussion that followed, four economists -- two each from the local and foreign banks -- gave their take on the Economic Outlook for 2016 and the medium term. PwC Singapore also presented on “Megatrends that will shape Singapore’s Future Economic Strategies and Businesses’ Future Strategies”. 

SBF National Business Survey 2015/16

The annual survey, conducted in the fourth quarter 2015 with the participation of more than 1,000 SBF members, indicated that 54% of respondents have been adversely affected by the current economic climate, an increase from the 35% from last year’s survey. Slightly more companies are less optimistic about Singapore economic growth for the year, although there are some companies that are very optimistic.

The challenges that businesses foresee in the next six to 12 months include high manpower cost (70% of all respondents), uncertain economic environment (58%) and slow growth in sales (55%). Drop in demand is beginning to affect more SBF members. In addition, more companies are affected by delays in projects and customers payments, and they are also facing financing challenges with bank loans becoming more expensive and new bank financing harder to obtain. 

Businesses hope that Budget 2016 will address business costs, PMET training, financing and help companies build capabilities.

The survey also indicated that the Mekong region, in particular, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, are attracting more interests among Singapore companies. This is in addition to other ASEAN countries such as Philippines and Thailand.

The conference marks the start of a year-long series of activities that SBF will organise in collaboration with other partners to discuss and gather further inputs for the Committee for the Future Economy (CFE). For updates and inputs to the SBF Position Paper, please visit www.sbfpositionpaper2016.org.sg.

Noting the many inputs and strong support received from the business community on the SBF Position Paper, SBF Chairman Mr S S Teo said “I am heartened to see the responses from the business community. I hope that the SBF Position Paper and the conversation that follows will provide useful inputs to the work of the CFE. The SBF Position Paper makes several recommendations to the Government. However, businesses must quickly grasp that they too, are responsible to themselves, their employees, customers, owners and the wider community for their performance, as no one owes us a living. The SBF Position Paper makes the case for businesses and Government to work more collaboratively moving forward.”

Welcome Remarks by SBF Chairman Mr SS Teo

National Business Survey 2015-16

Megatrends Shaping Singapore's Future Economic Strategies & Businesses 

Recommendations of SBF Position Paper for a Vibrant Singapore

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