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Budget 2020 – Business Leaders’ Wishlists

BT 10 Feb 2020

Putting support measures for virus situation aside, the upcoming Budget 2020 should also address longer-term issues such as economic transformation, digitalisation, the environment, and the ageing population, said business leaders.
Economic ====================================================================
Ernst & Young managing partner for Brunei and Singapore, Max Loh

  • The Budget should press on with the economic transformation agenda that has been set in motion at the industry and workforce levels as a longer-term imperative.”
  • This means improving firms’ and workers’ capabilities, and tackling gaps between current skills and future opportunities, he said.

Deloitte Singapore chief executive officer Cheung Pui Yuen

  • Policy support to develop and deepen workers’ capabilities should continue to remain high priority to assure the workforce of their jobs, and to make available quality human capital for businesses

Robert Half Singapore managing director Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard

  • Equipping the Singapore workforce with digital skills.

Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants CEO Lee Fook Chiew

  • Digital training should start before the tertiary level.


Business leaders called for continued support to help firms – particularly small and medium enterprises – enter foreign markets, not least in Asean.


Environmental & Sustainability =======================================================================
PacificLight Power CEO, Yu Tat Ming

  • Incentivising firms to be sustainable will not only reduce carbon emissions, but possibly create economic spinoffs in the form of new technologies, and result in cost savings and productivity improvements

Johnson Controls country general manager for Singapore and Asia-Pacific GM for transformation, David Kirubi

  • To encourage firms “to adopt the triple bottom line, which includes social and environmental considerations”

Singapore Green Building Council president Ho Nyok Yong

  • Suggested areas where the Budget could give support include the adoption of low-carbon, energy efficient technologies; renewable energy; green buildings; sustainable financing; and incentivising less waste
  • hopes for “a holistic, fiscally feasible and long-term climate action plan”.

Envysion Wealth Management CEO Veronica Shim

  • To look at climate change’s implications to Singapore’s port from possible opening of Arctic shipping routes

Ageing ==================================================================
Singapore International Chamber of Commerce chief executive Victor Mills

  • “end ageism in the workforce to maximise citizen potential”.

Singapore Association of Pharmaceutical Industries executive director Christina Teo

  • To help older workers “comfortably and contribute further to the economy”
  • To invest in preventive healthcare

Philips Singapore country manager Ivy Lai

  • further use of technology and artificial intelligence to improve healthcare

Singapore National Co-operative Federation CEO, Dolly Goh

  • “Social entities such as co-operatives can step in to address some areas of healthcare needs such as long-term affordable and holistic healthcare services like senior homes and eldercare centres,”

Tsao Foundation CEO, Peh Kim Choo

  • Ageism results in “many cultural, social-economic and structural barriers” for older people in workplaces and society. Budget 2020 to push for a mindset change at all levels of society.

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