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SBF looks forward to working with the Government on the Committee on the Future Economy’s recommendations to better position Singapore for the future

9 February 2017 [Singapore] - The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) looks forward to working closely with the Government on the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) recommendations to better position Singapore to be a vibrant and resilient economy with sustainable growth that creates value and opportunities for all.

SBF is honoured to be a partner for this important Government initiative. SBF’s involvement in the CFE is an extension of its work on the “SBF Position Paper for a Vibrant Singapore” that it presented to Minister for Finance and Chairman of the Committee on the Future Economy Heng Swee Keat in January 2016. In addition, the Federation tabled proposals and provided inputs over the course of CFE’s work. In November 2016, SBF also collaborated with the CFE Secretariat to organise a seminar to brief businesses and trade associations and chambers (TACs) on CFE’s progress and obtain their views and feedback.

SBF is heartened that the recommendations in the CFE report are aligned to those raised on the SBF Position Paper. This includes recommendations relating to helping promising enterprises to seize international opportunities from their home base in Singapore, commercialisation of intellectual property, support for enterprises to scale up, partnerships between enterprises, expansion of entrepreneurial talent, acquisition of overseas work experience, acquisition of deep skills, as well as a business-friendly regulatory environment to support innovation and risk-taking.

SBF is also encouraged by CFE’s recognition of the role of Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) as valuable multipliers, leading industry-level initiatives and supporting enterprises to scale up and make inroads in overseas markets. SBF welcomes the opportunity to partner with the Government in playing a bigger role to better support the business community, including the transformation and upgrading of our SMEs to be ready for the future.

Mr SS Teo, Chairman of SBF who served on the CFE main committee and co-chaired the sub-committee on Future Corporate Capabilities and Innovation with Minister Heng Swee Keat, said “In the face of substantial uncertainties facing the business community, the CFE recommendations provide timely guidance for companies. The CFE report is comprehensive and the recommendations are well thought-through.

However, the CFE recommendations will not be a panacea for all the challenges confronting Singapore. To navigate successfully into the future, Singapore must continue to build on the strong foundation of its people, institutions, as well as good rule of law, trust and assurance of high level of service and quality. At the same time, businesses must be nimble and innovative, and be pioneers in their own right.

We should be confident of our future. In Singapore, businesses, unions and the Government work very closely together. This is a unique tripartite arrangement. We can, and should continue to work closely together.

While planning for the long-term is important and necessary, addressing near-term issues to help viable businesses transit to the newly restructured economy should not be neglected. We urge the Government to continue to put sufficient emphasis on assisting businesses to overcome the near-term economic headwinds, as we expect the local business environment to remain tepid at least in the short term. The business community looks forward to Budget 2017 for possible measures to alleviate immediate operational issues to navigate the current economic slowdown.”

Infographic: Committee on the Future Economy Recommendations

Committee on the Future Economy Report

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