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 20 FEB 2024  |  ISSUE 493

Dear Members and Friends

Our annual post-budget set piece is a set piece because of the quality of speakers we invite each year. Yesterday’s panel of experts was no exception. Ms. Selena Ling, Chief Economist & Global Head, Global Markets Research & Strategy, OCBC, Dr. Chua Hak Bin, Regional Co-Head of Macro Research, Maybank and Mr. Loh Eng Kiat, Tax Partner, Deloitte each gave a thoughtful presentation followed by a panel conversation moderated by me.

Here's what we learned:

  • Budget 2024 is definitely a crowd-pleasing and generous one with more financial support via vouchers and a plethora of schemes to help households and businesses with the rising cost of living. No-one was left out in this budget and no area of concern forgotten.

  • Budget 2024 can also be said to be the first policy response to citizen input from the Forward SG initiative. Significant and generous SkillsFuture credit top-ups act as financial incentives to encourage each of us to upskill or reskill – especially those of us older than 40 - for a more sustainable economic future for ourselves and for the economy. Every worker matters and every citizen counts. The active support of employers will be a key enabler of their teams' ability to take up these schemes and, therefore, of their progress.

  • Collaboration, as always, is the driver for innovation and growth. The announcement of the enhanced Partnerships for Capability Transformation (PACT) scheme (itself one of the catalysts of the Chamber’s annual business awards) was very welcome. PACT demonstrates the power of collaborative partnerships between SMEs and MNEs. The latter can help nurture and grow the former giving rise to enhanced capabilities for both to compete in the global value chain.

  • The Corporate Income Tax Rebate and Cash Grant are significant for businesses which pay tax and those which do not respectively. The introduction of the Refundable Investment Credit scheme will enhance Singapore’s competitiveness and balance the impact of the minimum effective tax rate of 15% to be levied on applicable MNEs from 1 January 2025. This will allow Singapore to continue to attract high-value and substantive investment to spur innovation and create jobs.

  • We all have a responsibility for the environment – the Future Energy Fund will be set up with an initial injection of $5 billion to drive Singapore's transition to cleaner fuels.

Many thanks to our expert speakers for sharing their insights and knowledge and to our audience for participating in the Q & A. Special thanks go to our virtual participants and friends from the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce for joining us.

#Budget2024 #ForwardSG #vibranteconomy #SkillsFuture

Yours faithfully
Victor Mills
Chief Executive



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