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Archive for 20/02/2017

Singapore 2017 Fiscal Budget ~ A Balanced Plan For The Time Being 


By:  Simple Minded 

Feb 20, 2017 

Key observation:  The Great, Good & Not So Good

1. Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) 环球创新联盟。 But will this concept really work?  Nobody would share their key development ideas and new discoveries with others, this is the fact. Ask yourself frankly, when did Microsoft, Apple, Tasla, Facebook, Google, and many other innovation undertakings share their new discoveries, methods/skills and insights with outsiders in the process?  A good idea (ie. GIA) but also a flaw concept from the start. Historically all great stuff (especially with great economic/commercial benefits type of innovations) come from COMPETITION. Internal alliances (mixed sectors) are more viable than cross-country/society alliances in innovation; the environment and intense competition make it very different from those international laboratory works or International Space Station (ISS) exploration. 

And, innovation outcome is NOT just simply based on a set of (new) skills that can be transferred to achieve it. (Otherwise, the world would be full of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates etc. etc.) 

2. SME transformation and upscale.  Have to push  but the budget plan did not mention about the most important factor for them (SMEs) ~ where’s the targeted market expansion? The SMEs continue to operate within a small domestic market plus the neighboring countries with limitations. Very very few could really expand overseas in a big way. The question: How to make the cake larger?

3. Investment on education and industrial skill training.  A must do task but it is a huge challenge becos the local job market (60% coming from the SMEs) is no longer able to continue expand in area of ‘aspiring job positions’   for younger graduates and also  professional upgrades; and costs will remain a major concern for SMEs due to inability to expand into new or larger overseas markets. It is an inward loop.

4. Digital society, economy & opportunities.  Very good as this is the trend but, it is more of a long term vision than an economic solution for now. It also highly depends on the pace of neighboring economies to be of motivation for SMEs to strive to link up with and expand into larger markets. 

5. Inclusive society. This is very good. Lots of subsidies for families and social support schemes.

6. Finally and probably most important for this few years, is to bring forward many (govt) infrastructure developments  for (saving) the construction and goods & services/supply industries.  Otherwise, more SMEs may fail and resulting in more retrenchments. 

Overall, the 2017 Fiscal Budget is a balanced plan for all for the time being, though many from the industries might not be overly excited yet. Things will get clearer towards end of the year and probably follow-up economic policy details may be disclosed. 

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