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Commentary on Singapore Budget 2016

Ang Thiam Guan (T.G.), Managing Director of Cisco Singapore and Brunei | March 29, 2016
Following the 2016 Singapore Budget, Ang Thiam Guan of Cisco shares his thoughts on what is important for businesses in Singapore to look out for this year.

The 2016 Budget places a strong emphasis on instilling the spirit of partnership to create a caring and resilient society for the future, hence collaborations between the public and private sectors in Singapore-as well as within industries - are becoming more crucial than ever.

The government has underlined its commitment to roll out a wide range of schemes to help and support enterprises of all sizes to continuously transform their businesses, from promoting start-ups to setting up new innovation districts. We need to maximise all of our assets and ecosystem to keep up with the rapid pace. Cisco believes that creating value for customers is what matters and that is how businesses can remain relevant to thrive in the newly-transformed Singapore economy of the future.

3. Fostering entrepreneurship to help SMEs with restructuring efforts

As shared in the budget, the global economy is slowing down but restructuring remains a constant. The need to restructure is both urgent and critical; and this is especially so for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Cisco believes the key to restructuring lies in adopting an entrepreneurial mindset and embracing failure. It's important to note that even though the government is encouraging SMEs and rolling out initiatives to support them, it is not the responsibility of the government to provide a safety net for SMEs.

SMEs must step up to think like entrepreneurs, take risks and take advantage of the digital age to rethink how they can enable, differentiate and define their business, their customers experiences, and outcomes. SMEs must make use of data they get from the digital connectivity to deliver new value to their customers through fast and responsive innovation.

4. Opportunity for government to push for technology and innovation to help organisations and the workforce tide through the challenging economy

The Finance Minister stressed on the importance of technology and innovation to help build a more resilient economy for Singapore. The government will be setting aside a total of S$4.5 billion under the new Industry Transformation Programme to support enterprises and industries and help them create value, drive growth and integrate their efforts through innovation.

Technology and innovation are at the heart of every enterprise and every industry. With the economy already in the digital age, we'll need the government to help organisations realize their potential and that the way forward is through digitisation. More emphasis can be put on how the government can encourage more organisations to adopt innovative digital solutions to define their business models and remain sustainable to stay relevant in the ever-changing economy.

 

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