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54% of companies in Singapore 'adversely affected' by economic climate: SBF survey

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 17:00
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Just over half of the businesses in Singapore have said they are "adversely affected" by the current economic climate, according to the findings of the latest National Business Survey released by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) on Tuesday.

JUST over half of the businesses in Singapore have said they are "adversely affected" by the current economic climate, according to the findings of the latest National Business Survey released by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) on Tuesday.

About 54 per cent feel this way, which is a marked increase from the 35 per cent from last year's survey. The poll of more than 1,000 SBF members, conducted in the fourth quarter of 2015, found that just 4 per cent of businesses are "very optimistic" about Singapore's economic growth for the year.

Among the main challenges that businesses foresee in the next six to 12 months include high manpower cost (70 per cent of all respondents), an uncertain economic environment (58 per cent) and a slow growth in sales (55 per cent).

As for what's on top of their Budget 2016 wishlist, they hope that this year's budget will address business costs, training for PMETs (professionals, managers, executives and technicians), financing, and help companies build capabilities.

Also on Tuesday, SBF formally presented its new Position Paper to Finance Minister and Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) chairman Heng Swee Keat.

SBF chairman Teo Siong Seng hoped that the 32-page paper, which was made public last Wednesday, would provide useful inputs to the CFE's work.

"(Our) 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," he said.

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