Country Forecast Singapore April 2018

Country Forecast Singapore April 2018

  • April 2018 •
  • Report ID: 472455 •
  • Format: PDF

Policy towards private enterprise and competition


2018-19: The government continues to guide industry towards technological upgrading and co-investment tie-ups.


2020-22: Protection of intellectual property (IP) stays strong. Government-linked firms remain important in key sectors.


Policy towards foreign investment


2018-19: The government focuses increasingly on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), launching initiatives such as the "SMEs Go Digital" scheme to give such firms targeted support.


2020-22: Singapore remains one of the leading recipients of FDI in Asia, and policy continues to be broadly supportive of foreign investment.


Foreign trade and exchange controls


2018-19: Free-trade agreements (FTAs) remain at the top of the government's agenda. Amendments to the FTA with Australia come into force, and the FTA with the EU is finally implemented. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership comes into force.


2020-22: Regional trade talks continue with China and other partners. Talks begin on an FTA with the UK.


Taxes


2018-19: Tax incentives continue to be used to encourage R&D spending. Corporate tax rates remain competitive regionally. A carbon tax is introduced. Higher stamp duty on home purchases encourages market sustainability.


2020-22: The goods and services tax (GST) rate is extended to cover imported services. The GST is increased shortly before or after the end of the forecast period to fund increasing social welfare expenditure.


Financing


2018-19: The authorities adopt the OECD's Automatic Exchange of Information standard. Financial institutions in Singapore remain well capitalised.


2020-22: Singapore remains an important centre for the development of offshore renminbi financing, but is behind established centres such as Hong Kong and London. The government guarantees loans for large infrastructure projects.


The labour market


2018-19: The government continues to push for skills-development programmes under the SkillsFuture Credit scheme. Restrictions on immigration remain in place.


2020-22: After securing another victory at the 2021 legislative election, the People's Action Party-led government may consider a slight loosening of restrictions on immigration.


Infrastructure


2018-19: The government focuses on improving public transport as the vehicle fleet is frozen in size. Energy security is bolstered by the completion of a huge gas storage tank.


2020-22: Work begins on a high-speed rail link between Singapore and the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.


Technological readiness


2018-19: The government heavily invests in research on artificial intelligence and "big data". The National University of Singapore begins construction of a science park and a big-data centre to collaborate with industry. E-government systems are expanded.


2020-22: Singapore's research drive begins to pay off in the form of increased automation.



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