The Singapore government is being urged to provide funding support for large enterprises to continue their digital transformation efforts and for smaller businesses to start their sustainability journeys. According to a report from KPMG in Singapore and the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), these measures are crucial to safeguard the country’s prosperity in an increasingly uncertain global climate.
The report outlines recommendations for the government’s upcoming budget to maintain Singapore’s appeal as a destination for foreign direct investment in the face of growing competition from other financial hubs. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong is set to deliver the nation’s fiscal 2024 budget plan on February 16.
The report emphasizes the importance of advocating for innovation, digitalization, and ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) to position Singapore as an attractive location for global capital and talent. The document also suggests that organizations can enhance their competitiveness with support for digitalization, decarbonization, and globalization.
The report highlights the challenges that businesses in Singapore are facing, particularly rising costs and a challenging business environment in a weakening global economy. It also calls for the government to streamline procurement practices with smaller enterprises and maintain openness to overseas talent to address manpower constraints.
In terms of financial support, the report recommends a tiered model to assist companies in their digitalization efforts. It also suggests reassessing existing grants and subsidies to alleviate the cost burden on smaller companies. Additionally, the report advocates for reskilling and upskilling programs for employees in emerging technologies, including AI, to address new cyber threats.
To support sustainability initiatives, the report proposes expanding grant programs to cover the cost of AI and machine learning adoption and employee upskilling. It also recommends establishing data-sharing platforms for ESG data exchange and calibrating property tax policies to incentivize greener building requirements.
Overall, the report emphasizes the need for comprehensive financial and policy support to enable enterprises to navigate economic challenges and drive innovation and sustainability in Singapore.