SiTF urges S'pore govt to support businesses

The trade association's survey finds Singaporean businesses optimistic about economy, but also looking to government for help to keep business afloat.
Written by Victoria Ho, Contributor

The Singapore infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) has urged the Singapore government to place greater focus on market creation during the economic downturn and continue to promote Singapore as an ICT hub.

The trade association said in a press statement, it submitted to the government the findings of its recent survey that found 60 percent of companies are optimistic about business this year; but those polled were also looking to the government for support.

"Companies are keen to get government support on reducing costs, such as through income tax and GST (goods and services tax) [cuts], and getting funding through higher grants and subsidies," said the SiTF.

SiTF chairman Tan Yen Yen said: "The government should put greater focus on market creation during this tough period and continue to promote Singapore as an ICT hub, data center and regional HQ.

"It is important that the total value of setting up operations in Singapore vis-à-vis the cost of operations remains attractive for foreign companies."

Tan added that the SiTF is appealing to the government to explore new areas of investment, such as green IT.

The survey, which polled 86 MNCs (multinational corporations) and local IT companies, found that in addition to the positive profit forecast, half of the local IT firms intend to continue with overseas expansion plans.

Hiring plans are also continuing, with half of local firms and a third of MNCs polled indicating so. Sales and marketing, IT and engineering positions are particularly hot, noted the survey.

However, business costs will be scaled down in line with the gloomy forecast. "Organizations are reviewing their budgets and travel is the first area that they will look to reduce costs. MNCs are least willing to reduce spend on training, an indication that the downturn is an opportunity for workers to up skill," said the SiTF.

Tan said: "The impact of increasing business costs is a valid concern and this is an opportune time for companies, especially those in the SME (small and medium enterprise) sector, to adopt infocomm technologies to reduce costs and to increase efficiency."

Editorial standards