Budget 2017: Singapore manufacturing companies must aspire to go global

Debra Toh

20 February 2017- After a long anticipated wait against a backdrop of an unprecedented economic uncertainty for months with political and technological disruptions, members of the Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) applauded the bold initiatives rolled out by the government during the Budget 2017.

This year’s Budget reinforces the message to manufacturing companies, both small and large, that it is no longer business as usual. The federation believes the introduction of the new forward-looking incentives, schemes and programmes such as SME Go Digital, Tech Access and the International Partnership Fund hit the right notes in pathing the way for the industry’s transformation towards the future economy. SMF is also pleased to that the government recognises the critical role that TACs play in partnering with them to support businesses in the transformation process.

SMF President, Mr Douglas Foo welcomed the new International Partnership Fund as this eases the challenges for manufacturing companies enter new markets. He said, “This new fund will not only help companies find partners who can meet their needs, but also with the support of the government to open up new markets. We hope that this will encourage more local manufacturers to go global."

Other moves such as the deferment of foreign levy hikes for the marine and process sectors, the Special Employment Credit (SEC) that supports the hiring of older workers till 2019 and the raised Corporate Income Tax (CIT) rebate also received positive feedback. Overall, members viewed this year’s Budget favourably with the government’s long term approach in stimulating opportunities for businesses to transform and grow sustainably for the future economy.

Some council members and secretariat staff gathered at SMF to give their comments on Budget 2017