2018 was quite a normal year for most businesses in Singapore. What wasn’t really normal was the trade war that has affected the businesses that are directly engaged in the crosshairs of both China and the USA and that would be those involved in trading. With such headwinds still building up with not much of a clear sign of clearing up, we expect things to remain equally challenging for those in the trading sector.
Oil and Gas hasn’t seen much of a big gain and has been fairly still on the low side and with the recent fall of oil prices, unlikely to make much of a recovery this year with the trade war still pretty much in full swing.
The world economy has shifted towards autonomous production and services. Gone are the days where industries that rely on high volume of manpower continue to rely on high volume of manpower.
Singapore will continuously face the challenges of the new world where production and services get lower in cost and price pressures will be to reduce prices overall. We will see some of the lower level jobs slowly move overseas even further and also some financial jobs that are more basic to start shifting to our neighbours.
Some of the businesses in Singapore are therefore seeking assistance and we are looking forward to a few things from the upcoming budget and hope to see good progress for the nation from it:
1. Continuing its support to digitize the economy
The economy which has its main focus in services especially financial services will need to keep growing to keep the economy of the country going strong. The government has over the years supported the digitizing of the economy and we hope to see more being done on this portions to help other service sector businesses to grow further down the digital stage. With the advent of E-Commerce, more and more retail businesses are suffering great competition and could really need some help with going online.
2. Supporting those who have to and need to shift overseas to cut cost
High cost in terms of manpower and land in Singapore is pushing most factories in Singapore out. There are barely any space left for Singapore manufacturing to chug ahead, for those that are low margins, the government could provide some support through its agencies to assist those who were to choose the option of moving out to help them set up overseas.
3. Sector based manpower deployments
Manpower is still very tight in Singapore and everyone knows that its tough even for the government to get it right. We should really look more closely into not just sectors but also into specific industries where Singaporeans are really not seeking jobs in and help to supplement with foreign labour, if not we are really stuck in the cycle of not being to deliver much because of the manpower limitation.
Looking forward to a good budget!