Singapore Inc is Desperate for Normalcy


Sujith Vasudevan, Managing EditorSingapore is well and truly on its U-shaped recovery. Even though 3.5 percent GDP growth for 2022 was narrowed from an earlier projected range of 3–4 percent, wage growth in Singapore in 2023 is set to stay robust even as the slowing economy cuts labor demand. Following the significant ease of COVID-19 restrictions, yesteryear saw the country’s labor market attaining pre-pandemic normalcy. Total employment surpassed pre-COVID levels in the third quarter of 2022, making way for a reduction in unemployment rates. All things considered, the business realm in the country is doing a commendable job.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Singapore, Lawrence Wong, is set to present the 2023 Budget on Feb 14. Economists across the globe anticipate the country’s financial forecast to return to some sort of normalcy and prudence after two years of Covid-related spending. Nevertheless, with the threat of slow growth and high inflation over the head, the business realm in the country, especially startups, can still expect some short-term support.

While the Budget 2023 could tell the story of the post-pandemic reality, for businesses, this could only mean one thing—digital transformation. There is a possibility of extensions and renewals; however, the CFOs will have to think ahead and plan their blueprints with a focus on digitalization, internationalization, and sustainability. Furthermore, the business realm in the country also expects an update on the planned corporate ‘top-up’ tax in response to global tax changes under the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting 2.0 initiative. It’s a sure bet that the CFOs across the country’s corporate landscape will have their hands full.

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