Singapore businesses fear worse economic situation in 2017: survey
By Chia Yan Min
28 December 2016

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ ANN) - The economic climate in Singapore has deteriorated this year, according to companies polled in a new survey, with almost half expecting the coming year to be even worse. This was one of the findings of the latest annual National Business Survey conducted by the Singapore Business Federation.

The survey polled more than 1,100 companies across all major industries about the outlook for 2017, their view on government policies, and key challenges faced.

The survey showed that operating costs and manpower remain key concerns for companies, with about two-thirds of survey respondents citing those as major challenges.

Businesses are also hoping for more government assistance to tide over this period of slowing economic growth. Only 28 per cent of all companies polled said they are satisfied with existing government policies. Among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), only 27 per cent said they were satisfied, compared with 39 per cent of larger companies.

More than a third of SMEs and large firms polled called for more support measures to counter worsening economic conditions.

The survey also found that businesses are keen to expand abroad but might lack the necessary expertise to do so.

Eight in 10 of firms polled said Asean is the preferred region for overseas expansion.

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