SINGAPORE – Manpower issues and rental costs remain among the top concerns for businesses in Singapore, the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) revealed at a pre-Budget Roundtable today (Jan 13), amid more pessimistic views of the local economy this year.
The roundtable, which focused on a survey by the ISCA, showed that 35 per cent of respondents were optimistic about Singapore’s economic outlook for the year, with 43 per cent taking a neutral stance and 22 per cent holding a pessimistic view. This compares with the 36 per cent and 20 per cent of respondents last year who held optimistic and pessimistic views, respectively.
The survey, which measured responses from 400 public and professional accountants, also revealed that lower rental costs and the easing of manpower regulations were among top on the wish list of businesses.
At the roundtable, Dr Jannie Chan, President of Singapore Retailers Association and Executive Vice Chairman of The Hour Glass, said that the retail sector has been badly affected by the government’s restructuring policies.
“The retailers industry’s crisis is affected by the government’s plans to change the environment,” Dr Chan said, highlighting how some retailers have had to downsize as a result of poor sales and an inability to keep up with the restructuring changes.
Another issue brought up at the roundtable was the need for employees to have a greater sense of entitlement in their jobs.
This is especially so for the food and beverage sector, said Mr Tan Hee Teck, Honorary Treasurer of Singapore National Employers Federation and Chief Executive Officer of Resorts World at Sentosa. “Singaporeans do not like to work in the service sector; we don’t see it as a profession but as a stepping stone to something better … We need to find a way to enforce psychologically that every job is a profession and all of us should be proud of it regardless of the job scope.”
news source & image credits: todayonline.com