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Singapore business leaders raise concerns, issues in SBF position paper

Wednesday, January 6, 2016 - 13:30
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The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) has issued a raft of proposals and recommendations that it hopes the government will consider in order to strengthen Singapore's global competitiveness.

THE Singapore Business Federation (SBF) has issued a raft of proposals and recommendations that it hopes the government will consider in order to strengthen Singapore's global competitiveness.

In a 32-page position paper released on Wednesday, SBF stressed the need to undertake a "deep review" of the country's existing strategies and to come up with new responses to tackle them.

"We envisage a Singapore plugged into the global economy and supporting many different kinds of businesses, utilising technology and leveraging our own intellectual property that make us uniquely competitive," the paper said.

The various recommendations, prepared by a group of 71 top business executives over a six-month period last year, are both for the immediate and the medium to long term.

Noting that Singapore is undergoing economic restructuring, the SBF paper wants as many businesses as possible to transit through this "difficult period". It urged the government to help businesses deal with rising costs and manpower issues to overcome near-term economic headwinds.

In the medium to longer term, the paper calls on the government to create an economy that isn't constrained by Singapore's geographical boundaries, and to develop the country as a hub for nerve centre, thought leadership, research and development, innovation and growth activities.

"We urge our government to consider our proposals, especially those that concern our rising costs and the need to expand our economy and grow an external wing," said SBF chairman Teo Siong Seng.

"The newly elected government now has a fresh and strong mandate. There is no better time than now to take bold and decisive moves that will strengthen Singapore's position now and in the long term."

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