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13 million new jobs have to be created!

2019-03-16_10-18-17From the start to the end of “2-session” conference, my take of various announcements and speeches is the key focus on the economy. The Chinese govt is hoping that the private sector, which made up of millions of SMEs, would help to contribute to the 13 million new jobs that would need to be created ANNUALLY for social stability.

Positively and negatively speaking, despite all the fiscal and monetary expansionary pro-economy measures announced to date, there are still a lot lot more the country can do. There is still a lot of firepowers.

The country is far from running out of things to do to improve the economy. When things are improved upon annually, the country could be chugging along nicely for many years to come.

Negatively speaking, we, in the business now, are facing many bureaucratic hassles that actually increase our costs of doing business in China.

Please allow me to cite two experiences. Firstly, the difficulties to remit money INTO the country and into a company’s bank account. We even called the local branch of a Chinese bank for assistance but to no avail.

Secondly, the official authorisation ie. “signature” on documentation is based on stamping of the seal. Apparently, an unauthorised person holding a company’s seal could do some harm to my company despite the principal not being present to sign any of the papers.

To end on a positive note, any improvement is a step in the direction of progress. We, in the business community, applaud the measures announced to date.

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Singapore Budget 2019 – Diesel Tax Hike

2019-03 BT - Budget 2019 - Diesel Tax - headline

I would say this is the only new initiative in Budget 2019 that actually ask its subjects to contribute to the revenue side of the budget.

The government has been able to fund all of its expenditures using its existing sources. Generally, existing sources are from tax revenue (funding about 70% of total expenditure), govt fees and income, and net investment returns from Temasek, GIC and MAS.

As the incremental revenue from this initiative is deemed not material in dollar value, it would represent a steady recurring source of income to the Government while the tax is touted to be a green initiative.

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Unproductive assets by the millions!!!



Which company or industry would be excited to sink in millions of dollar on this asset?

What are you going to use the thousands of sq feet for?

With the government’s attitude and action towards foreign labour, what will happen to the owners and landlords of industrial, residential and dormitory properties?

Many of these assets would be unutilised or under utilised.

Back in the good old days, the govt would back ventures that would contribute to the economic growth rate by allowing thousands of foreign workers to come in.

For those who have been in the know long enough, we witnessed intake of 120,000 foreign workers per annum ie. about 10,000 per month!!!

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How many Companies do we have in Singapore?

2019-02-04_12-20-50 entity


I came across some stats from ACRA on entity registration and types between 2017-2018 while doing my research and preparation for a coming presentation.

1. Partnership and Sole proprietorship
If I take the figures from these two entity types as a measure of entrepreneurial spirit in Singapore, the figures certainly do not point to a very active market. While the no. of partnership has increased marginally, the no. of sole proprietors has actually decreased.

2. Companies
The no. of companies has achieved a NET increase of 13,849 and 21,243 over 2017 and 2018 respectively. These figures should after ACRA’s big effort to strike off companies that have been “abandoned” by shareholders and directors for various reasons after due process.

3. Public Accounting Firms
For those seeking to work in audit firms, there has been a net decline in the no. of prospective employers that you could send your resumes to. Given the direction of legislation for audit exemption, we should see an increasing no. of companies being exempted from audit. Yes, noted that a company may still choose to be audited for various reasons and advantages.

Our firm provides the necessary support to incorporate your first company in your entrepreneurial journey.

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Data protection’s Cup of tea


My Dimbulah coffee conversation today highlighted the importance of data protection policy and related action plan for your company.

Let me cite two examples discussed.

1. You would fill in your name, identification number and mobile number in exchange for a pass, at the security counter of a building you are visiting. Security guard decided to go for a toilet break leaving the attendance register there. Someone then takes a picture of one page of the register and send to Data Protection Agency. The management of building got penalised.

2. You applied for a credit card with the bank. For some reasons your application failed. Have you ever tried to ask for the info back? Or can you demand the bank to confirm your info has been destroyed?

Pls, try to spend some time to read the stuff the Singapore govt had sent to every biz. I too have ignored the letter. Now, where shall I go to find the material?

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Singapore – How is our domestic demand?


The numbers are scaringly bad for January’s mass market

-8.4% drop for total sales
-8.1% drop for retail sales
-17.7% drop for clothing and footwear sales
-20.9% drop for motor vehicles sales
-20.3% drop for computer and telecom equipment sales
-13.2% for F&B sales

The article confuses me with annual change vs month on month change data.

Essentially – bad bad sentiment!!!

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PTW Asia @ Semicon China

Best wishes to Torsten and team at the coming Semicon China

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