[Business] Singapore Budget 2019 in 3 Minutes

2019 Singapore Budget

Singapore’s economic transformation is bearing fruit. In tandem with the global expansion, the Singapore economy grew 3.2% in the Year 2018. If you are thinking of incorporating your company in Singapore, benefit from the following government initiatives, which are aimed at driving industry transformation and supporting new businesses.

  1. Building deep enterprise capabilities

    Enterprises InnovationEnterprise Singapore will be launching a Scale-up SG programme to help aspiring, high-growth firms identify and build new capabilities, and to innovate, grow and internationalise. It will also launch a two-year Innovation Agents Programme for enterprises to obtain advice on innovation opportunities from experienced industry professionals, known as Innovation Agents. Depending on the enquiry, Innovation Agents may provide consultation services for your company on a one-to-one or group basis.

    An additional SGD 100 million will be set aside to establish SME Co-Investment Fund III, which will continue the work of earlier funds. To qualify for the subsidy, your company must be based in Singapore, with revenue not exceeding SGD 500 million a year.

    Financing schemes offered by Enterprise Singapore will also be streamlined into a single Enterprise Financing Scheme. Benefit from this scheme as the Government is willing to take on up to 70% of the risk for bank loans.

    The SME Working Capital Loan scheme will be extended for two more years, until March 2021. Besides financing your company’s growth needs, this scheme also helps address your business’ near-term cash flow concerns.

    Similarly, the Automation Support Package will be extended by another two years. This helps more companies deploy impactful, large-scale automation, such as robotics, Internet of Things solutions and other Industry 4.0 technologies.

    To make it easier for businesses to transact with the Government, a pilot portal will be launched for the food services sector in the Year 2019. Instead of dealing with up to 14 different agencies, businesses can deal with a single point of contact.

  2. Building deep worker capabilities

    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

    This year, new Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs) will be launched for new sectors such as blockchain, embedded software, and prefabrication. This enables your company to hire newly reskilled professionals who have acquired the necessary knowledge and competencies for their new role. The Career Support Programme, which provides wage support for firms hiring mature or retrenched Singaporeans, will also be extended for two more years. If your company hires eligible Professionals, Managers, Executives, and Technicians (PMETs), it can receive salary support of up to $42,000.

    To ensure that companies enjoy continued access to a strong workforce and a sustainable inflow of foreign workers, the following workforce quota for the services sector will be reduced:

    • Dependency Ratio Ceiling (DRC), from 40% to 38% on 1 January 2020, and to 35% on 1 January 2021; and the
    • S Pass Sub-DRC, from 15% to 13% on 1 January 2020, and to 10% on 1 January 2021.

    The 70% funding support level for the Enterprise Development Grant will be extended for three more years, up to 31 March 2023. This helps Singapore companies grow and transform as they upgrade their business or venture overseas. Likewise, the Productivity Solutions Grant will be extended and expand its scope to support up to 70% of out-of-pocket costs for training.

    Given early signs of recovery for the Marine Shipyard and Process sectors, the increase in Foreign Worker Levy rates for these sectors will be deferred for another year.

    The Government also encouraged workers to embrace upskilling and reskilling and called for firms to step up training and job redesign for their workers, as they are well-placed to know the skills that workers need as their sectors evolve.

  3. Encouraging strong partnerships in Singapore and beyond

    partnership shakehandsTo support the push to make innovation pervasive, the Government has set aside SGD 19 billion as part of its five-year Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 plan. This plan develops Singapore’s knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy and invites companies from around the world to be part of this global research and development (R&D) hub.

    To improve Singapore’s food resilience, Enterprise Singapore will be launching a Centre of Innovation in Aquaculture to be housed at Temasek Polytechnic to promote aquaculture. A Centre of Innovation in Energy at NTU will also be launched to drive industry-led innovation in areas such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, and electric mobility. This builds on Singapore’s earlier investments and welcomes like-minded greentech companies from around the world.

    The Government will be combining local and overseas internship programmes into a single Global Ready Talent Programme. Besides providing enhanced funding support for students interning overseas with Singapore firms, the programme will support your company if it wishes to send its workers for postings in key markets such as Southeast Asia, China, and India.

    To bring together more investors, entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world, the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH) and the Singapore FinTech Festival will be held in the same week in mid-November. These technology events are set to bring in the global innovation community to Singapore, which gives your company the opportunity network, explores and collaborate with a worldwide audience.

At Corporate Services Singapore, we help entrepreneurs build their dream companies. Whether you are looking for assistance on company incorporation or more information on the above initiatives, give us a call at 6602 8286 or email us at info@corporateservicessingapore.com to get started today.

Download the full Budget speech.
Watch the Budget video.

Posted in Company Incorporation.