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Singapore businesses concerned about rising costs

Anuradha Shukla | Jan. 22, 2014
Find the pace of economic restructuring too fast, according to KPMG pre-Singapore Budget 2014 survey.

Businesses in Singapore are concerned about rising costs, a tight labour market and raising productivity, according to the KPMG pre-Singapore Budget 2014 survey.

65.8 percent of businesses think that economic restructuring is going at a very fast pace and 45.2 percent want business rules to be simplified in the nation.

Productivity schemes are effective in Singapore as the majority (96.8 percent) of respondents said they want the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme to be extended after 2015.

Half of the respondents agreed that more efforts are required to encourage innovation.

"Businesses have come to accept the need for Singapore to push productivity growth," said Tay Hong Beng, head of Tax at KPMG in Singapore. "With the PIC due to expire by 2015, it is no surprise many are calling for an extension. This is because the productivity journey is a long and continuous one. Some companies are also just starting out and need more help."

More incentives required

85.1 percent of those surveyed said they want more incentives to encourage the development of indigenous Singapore brands.

While 21.3 percent of businesses want help in restructuring, 24 percent SMEs said they are concerned about the rising costs.

23.4 percent of the SMEs want increase in the relevance of tax and other monetary incentives and 21.8 percent want simpler tax and monetary incentives.

Survey respondents also agreed to an urgent need for more support to Singapore companies that are expanding regionally as current incentive frameworks are not adequate to encourage companies.

"Current incentives do not recognise the intangible nature of efforts to create a strong brand," said Tay Hong Beng, head of Tax at KPMG in Singapore. "For this reason, large majority of respondents hope this could be addressed, such as through a tax incentive by way of a tax allowance for internally-generated brands."



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