Top Banner
BusinessQuotient / Business / People / Opportunities Jul•Aug•Sep 2014 BUILDING THE FUTURE Who will take over your business? SINGAPORE ECONOMY Manpower crunch ahead BIG DATA OPPORTUNITIES Consumer insights a value add for businesses A PUBLICATION OF SINGAPORE BUSINESS FEDERATION An Effective Voice for Businesses SBF Chairman Tony Chew reflects on the chamber’s role as a strong advocate

2014 | BiZQ | Jul - Sep

Apr 01, 2016



BiZQ is a publication of Singapore Business Federation, the apex business chamber which champions the interests of the business community in Singapore in trade, investment and industrial relations. The magazine reaches out to decision makers such as CEOs, managing directors and entrepreneurs, keeping them well-informed of the latest economic trends, industry news and trade and investment opportunities in Singapore and around the world. BiZQ spotlights emerging industries, offers analyses of economic developments and highlights trade and investment opportunities in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Taking an analytical approach, more in-depth coverage is provided across different industries, ranging from manufacturing, oil & gas, construction, logistics & transportation, maritime & shipping, telecommunications and IT services, to healthcare, wellness, retail and hospitality.
Welcome message from author
This document is posted to help you gain knowledge. Please leave a comment to let me know what you think about it! Share it to your friends and learn new things together.
  • Business Quotient / Business / People / O


    JulAugSep 2014


    Who will take over your business?


    Manpower crunch ahead


    Consumer insights a value add for


    A P













    S F





    An Effective Voice for

    BusinessesSBF Chairman

    Tony Chew reflects on the

    chambers role as a strong advocate

    Upon approvalPlease sign:

    Name and Date:

    Cover BQ Jul-Sep 14.indd 1 11/06/2014 16:49

  • *Terms and conditions apply. (1) Only applicable to new corporate customers who open their DBS corporate accounts online. (2) Corporate accounts must be opened between 1 Mar 2014 and 31 Aug 2014 and all other terms and conditions applicable to corporate accounts shall apply. (3) DBS IDEALTM fee waivers includes set-up fees and monthly subscription fees. (4) 3 months fee waiver from account opening date for the following transactions conducted using DBS IDEALTM telegraphic transfers, account transfers, MEPS (MAS Electronic Payment System) and GIRO (General Interbank Recurring Order). (5) Prevailing cable charges and agent fees will apply for telegraphic transfers. (6) DBS may vary these terms and conditions or discontinue any promotion at any time without any notice or liability to any party.Deposit Insurance SchemeSingapore dollar deposits of non-bank depositors and monies and deposits denominated in Singapore dollars under the Supplementary Retirement Scheme are insured by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation, for up to S$50,000 in aggregate per depositor per Scheme member by law. Foreign currency deposits, dual currency investments, structured deposits and other investment products are not insured. DBS Bank Ltd Co. Reg. No.: 196800306E May 2014

    Asias Safest, Asias BestSafest Bank, Asia 2009 2013, Global Finance

    Best Managed Bank, Asia Pac 2013, The Asian BankerBest Bank, Asia Pac 2014, Global Finance

    The AssetSpecialist Award for Emerging Corporates in Asia Pacific 2014

    Specialist Award for SMEs in Asia Pacific 2014

    6-023 OAOS Ad SBF BizQ 1 Jun/03/2014 12:30 PM

  • JulAugSep 2014


    Chairmans Message

    The 12th Annual General Meeting of the Singapore Business Federation is an opportunity to take stock of what has been accomplished, and what is yet to be achieved.

    Over the last few years, we have achieved major milestones. SBF has seen a steady rise in activities, missions and delegations. It has become a major voice of the business community. We have worked collectively to build the capability of our companies and improve the business operating environment, both at home and abroad.

    In 2013, we broke new ground with the launch of several important initiatives. We launched the SBF Foundation, established the NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies, and inaugurated the SBF Business Institute. We look forward to another milestone in the opening of SBFs permanent headquarters in late 2016 at a prime downtown development, named the SBF Center.

    The formation of the SBF-led SME Committee in 2011 has provided SBF Members, particularly SMEs, with a stronger voice to the Singapore Government. SBF has become an effective advocate of business. The Government has recognised our wide representations, good data and careful deliberations. The SME Committees contributions to business policy are appreciated by the Government as well as the business community.

    Building a Steady Foundation for an Apex Business Chamber

    As I wrap up my six-year term as Chairman of SBF, I am leaving the Federation on a high note and in good hands.

    SBF is still a young organisation. The foundations have been laid for continuous service to Singapores business sector and its 21,000 SBF Members. Our services both at home and abroad have a strong foundation. SBF must continuously grow and reinvent itself, looking far ahead into the future. Singapore must remain a few steps ahead of rising economic and market challenges. SBF will play a critical role in this process.

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Board of Trustees, my fellow Council Members, the SBF Secretariat, business partners and you, our Members, for your strong commitment, dedication and support. It has been an immense honour and privilege to work with all of you, and to have played a part in building SBF as Singapores apex business chamber.

    Thank you.

    Tony Chew Leong-Chee Chairman Singapore Business Federation

    BizQ Upon approval

    Please sign:

    Name and Date:

    001 ChairmanMsg.ab.sbf.ed.ab.indd 1 10/06/2014 17:26

  • 2ContentsJulAugSep 2014

    BiZ Feature

    BiZQ looks into how SBF has been recognised for its efforts in championing the needs of the local business community.

    SBF: Becoming an Effective Advocate of Business


    Economy Watch

    Singapore Economy Undergoes TransitionBiZQ takes a closer look at how small and medium enterprises in Singapore are managing the cap on foreign manpower supply.


    BiZ Voice

    Improving Regional Trade through ABACBusiness leaders urge APEC to speed up Asia-Pacific FTA process through comprehensive partnerships.



    Is Your Business Ready for FAIR?BiZQ looks into what the Fair Consideration Framework means to Singapore companies, and what they need to look out for.


    Business Quotient (BiZQ) is the official publication of the Singapore Business

    Federation, reaching out to over 21,000 of Singapores business elite, chief executives

    and entrepreneurs. The quarterly, published in collaboration with SPH Magazines, is your eye on Asian and global business

    trends, bringing you up to date on industry developments, the economy, country profiles,

    stories about successful companies and the people who lead them.

    ABOVE: Outgoing SBF Chairman Mr Tony Chew is heartened that SBFs activities and members participation in them have grown steadily over the years.




    Cover photo: Veronica Tay

    Upon approvalPlease sign:

    Name and Date:

    002,004 Contents.ab.indd 2 11/06/2014 09:58

  • 4PublisherSingapore Business Federation

    10 Hoe Chiang Road, #22-01 Keppel Towers, Singapore 089315, Tel: +65 6827 6828,

    Fax: +65 6827 6807, E-mail:, Website:

    chairmanTony Chew

    chief executive officerHo Meng Kit

    chief operating officerVictor Tay

    assistant executive director(member relations)

    Cheryl Kongdirector, corporate

    communicationsGerald De Cotta

    Publishing AgentSPH Magazines Pte Ltd

    group editor-in-chiefCaroline Ngui

    group editorJoanna Lee-Miller

    editorial & creativesenior editor

    Dora Taycontributing editor

    Casuarina Pecksub-editor

    Annabelle Bokassociate creative director

    Jayson Ongart directorWinnie Ong

    senior designerMohamed A Rahman

    managing directorDennis Pua

    general managerChristopher Chan

    sales & client managementassociate account director

    Kaz Limaccount manager

    Lin Miersenior executive,

    client management Neo Pei Shi

    publishing servicesteam headAlice Chee

    For advertising enquiries, please call+65 6827 6828 or +65 6319 6326

    This news magazine is published by SPH Magazines Pte Ltd (Registration No. 196900476M) for Singapore Business Federation (Registration No. ROS138/2002TAP). Copyright of the materials contained in this magazine belongs to SPH Magazines Pte Ltd and Singapore Business Federation respectively. Nothing in here shall be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written consent of SPH Magazines Pte Ltd or Singapore Business Federation. Views expressed in this news magazine are not necessarily those of SPH Magazines Pte Ltd nor the Singapore Business Federation and no liabilities shall be attached thereto. All rights reserved. Editorial enquiries should be directed to the editor, BiZQ, SPH Magazines Pte Ltd, Media Centre, 82 Genting Lane, Level 7, Singapore 349567. Tel: +65 6319 6319, Fax: +65 6319 6227, E-mail: Unsolicited material will not be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed envelope and sufficient return postage. While every reasonable care will be taken by the editor, no responsibility is assumed for the return of unsolicited material. MICA (P) 119/03/2014. Printed in Singapore by timesprinters, Singapore (Registration No. 196700328H).

    In BiZ With

    Planning for Business SuccessionBaker Tilly Pitcher Partners Dr Richard Shrapnel urges family-run companies to plan ahead for business evolution.



    Big Data, Big OpportunityAnalysing meaningful information, such as consumer buying patterns, can add value to your business.


    Inside SBF

    SBF Leads Mission to Portugal, SwitzerlandSBF members gain better understanding of EU market dynamics and opportunities.


    International Markets

    Africa Shines with OpportunitiesBiZQ checks out the recent buzz surrounding investment opportunities in various West African countries.


    SME Resources

    SMEs Eye Enhanced Micro Loan InitiativeA recently announced enhancement to the Micro Loan Programme will help SMEs grow their businesses.


    JulAugSep 2014

    Upon approvalPlease sign:

    Name and Date:

    002,004 Contents.ab.indd 4 11/06/2014 09:58

  • CM







    05_08_BizQ Mag Ad - 255x185mm-02.pdf 1 4/6/2014 2:52:38 PM

  • 6JulAugSep 2014

    Economy Watch



    he S


    ts T


    ; G


    e St





    an S



    , Cor


    Singapore Economy Undergoes Major Transition

    As Singapore observed May Day this year, there were grim reminders that the cap on foreign labour supply will continue for the foreseeable future.

    At the same time, stronger tailwinds in regional and global economies are seen to be lifting Singapores business sentiments and outlook.

    If businesses operating in Singapore view the current manpower crunch as a medium-term phenomenon, BiZQ thinks it is time to review such sentiments.

    According to Singapores National Trades Union Congress Secretary-General Lim Swee Say, the manpower crunch will continue to bite and is here to stay.

    In his May Day 2014 message, Mr Lim said: Employers have to learn to make better use of every worker, and treat every worker better. The labour market will remain tight till 2020, and even tighter all the way to 2030.

    On the back of this message from the labour chief, Singapores Minister for Manpower, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, earlier said that while the labour market remains tight with close to full employment, Singapore will operate in a new

    Challenging issues such as manpower crunch typical of maturing society, says labour chief.

    Intensifying competitionThis latest assessment of the labour market should come as no surprise.

    As Barclays Singapore Senior Regional Economist Leong Wai Ho explained, the May Day message is an apt reminder that global competition is intensifying. As wage costs rise due to labour tightening and the ageing of our

    Mr Leong Wai Ho, Senior Regional Economist, Barclays Singapore

    The May Day message is an apt reminder that global competition is intensifying. As wage costs rise due to labour tightening and the ageing of our workforce, along comes pressure for workers to be ever more productive.phase of economic development. Hence, Singapores restructuring

    efforts must continue.Underlying the pivotal message

    that there will be no change in the position of a cap on foreign labour supply, Mr Tan said: We will continue to strongly encourage businesses to innovate and strive for productivity improvements, and in turn, raise the wages of our workers.

    006-009 EconomyWatch.ab.cp.sbf.ab.indd 6 10/6/14 5:53 PM

  • 7SPH



    p.8Source: Ministry of Trade & Industry, Singapore

    Singapores GDP 1Q 2014 Up 5.1%

    * Advance estimates

    Percentage change over corresponding period of previous year

    Overall GDP 0.6 4.2 5.8 5.5 4.1 5.1Goods Producing Industries(Manufacturing) -6.3 0.8 5.3 7.0 1.7 8.0

    Construction 5.6 6.6 6.6 4.8 5.9 6.5Service Producing Industries 3.2 5.7 6.3 5.9 5.3 4.7

    Quarter-on-quarter annualised growth rate, seasonally-adjusted

    Overall GDP 1.5 14.9 0.3 6.1 4.1 0.1Goods Producing Industries(Manufacturing) 1.0 17.6 0.0 10.4 1.7 4.5

    Construction 3.9 9.7 5.2 1.4 5.9 10.7Service Producing Industries 2.3 15.7 0.2 6.1 5.3 -1.8








    GDP Growth: A Peek at 2014, 2015 Growth

    GDP Growth (% YoY) Source: DBS Bank

    workforce, along comes pressure for workers to be ever more productive.

    Notwithstanding that the screws on the supply of foreign manpower is expected to stay tight, the Singapore economy continues to climb higher on the back of the stronger global economy. Hence, not all the recent news is dismal.

    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his May Day 2014 message that the government remains committed to delivering initiatives that aim to create better workers, better jobs, and most importantly for businesses, better lives.

    Q1 advanced estimatesAgainst this backdrop, advanced estimates by the Ministry of Trade and Industry showed that the Singapore economy grew by 5.1% on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2014, lower than the 5.5% growth in the previous quarter (refer to table: Singapores GDP 1Q 2014 Up 5.1%).

    On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualised basis, the economy grew by 0.1%, moderating from the 6.1% expansion in the preceding quarter.

    On a year-on-year basis, the manufacturing sector grew by 8.0%, following the 7.0% expansion in the previous quarter.

    The faster pace of expansion was largely due to a sharp rebound

    in biomedical manufacturing output and stronger growth in chemicals output.

    On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the sector grew at an annualised rate of 4.5%, compared to the growth of 10.4% in the preceding quarter.

    Positive uptrendAlthough the preliminary GDP figures have been released, economists told BiZQ that there is more upside to the economy, especially since the latest industrial production figures have been robust.

    Economists at DBS Bank pointed out to BiZQ that the 12.1% surge on a year-on-year basis in industrial output in March underpins the strength in the Singapore economy

    (refer to table: GDP Growth A Peek at 2014, 2015 Growth).

    This is about twice the pace predicted by the market, and implied in the advance GDP estimates (about 6.5% YoY), said DBS economist Irvin Seah.

    Importantly, this will lead to an upward revision in the manufacturing growth figure for the first quarter to 9.8% YoY, from the 8.0% projected previously, Mr Seah elaborated.

    More importantly, a significant upward revision to the first quarter GDP growth figure is in the making. (The manufacturing sector accounts for about 27% of overall GDP).

    This upward adjustment in the

    Mr Lim Swee Say, Secretary-General, National Trades Union Congress

    Employers have to learn to make better use of every worker, and treat every worker better. The labour market will remain tight till 2020, and even tighter all the way to 2030.

    2011 2012 2013 2014f 2015f

    US 1.8 2.8 1.9 2.2 2.4

    JAPAN -0.5 1.4 1.5 1.4 1.0

    EUROZONE 1.6 -0.7 -0.4 0.7 1.0

    INDONESIA 6.5 6.2 5.8 6.0 6.1

    MALAYSIA 5.1 5.6 4.7 5.2 4.8

    PHILIPPINES 3.6 6.8 7.2 6.6 6.5

    SINGAPORE 6.0 1.9 4.1 4.0 3.6

    THAILAND 0.1 6.4 2.9 3.1 5.3

    VIETNAM 5.9 5.0 5.4 5.7 5.7

    CHINA 9.3 7.7 7.7 7.5 7.5

    006-009 EconomyWatch.ab.cp.sbf.ab.indd 7 10/6/14 5:53 PM

  • 8JulAugSep 2014

    Economy Watch






    es; B






    Commerce/Trading 54.6 53.7 55.1 56.1 55.2

    Construction/Engineering 55.4 56.1 57.4 55.3 54.4

    Manufacturing 54.1 54.0 54.6 54.8 54.9

    Business Services 55.3 54.6 55.1 55.3 54.9

    Transport/Storage 54.7 54.0 53.3 54.2 54.3

    Overall 54.8 54.1 54.7 55.0 54.4

    Percentage change QoQ (%) 6.2 1.4 1.1 0.5 1.1

















    SBF-DP SME Index: Outlook for 2Q14-3Q14manufacturing sector growth alone will add about 0.5%-point to the headline GDP growth figure for the first quarter.

    Moreover, chance is high for the services sector growth to be revised upward as well, Mr Seah said.

    Upbeat about manufacturing sectorThe Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) recently released the results of a survey of business sentiments on the manufacturing sector for April-September 2014.

    This forward-looking survey revealed that more growth is expected ahead, and business sentiments in the manufacturing sector are expected to be positive in the next few months, ending September, on the back of improved economic conditions in the US and Europe.

    Overall, a weighted 12% of manufacturers expect business conditions to improve while a weighted 5% foresees deterioration.

    This resulted in a net weighted balance of 7% of manufacturers expecting a favourable business situation for this period as compared to the first quarter of this year.

    More orders aheadWithin the manufacturing sector, the survey also revealed the precision engineering cluster as the most optimistic. A net weighted balance of 24% of firms expect better business prospects in the six months ending September 2014, compared to a quarter ago.

    The machinery segment projected higher orders for semiconductor-related equipment, on account of better demand in the global semiconductor market and improved economic conditions in the US and Europe.

    The precision modules and components segment also foresees more orders from both local and overseas markets in the next few months, according to the EDB survey results.

    Better business prospectsThe general manufacturing industries are the next most optimistic cluster, with a net weighted balance of 7% of firms

    anticipating better business prospects in the next few months (ending September).

    Within the cluster, the printing segment expects business to pick up, following the seasonally less active first quarter of the year. In the miscellaneous industry segment, positive sentiments are supported by firms engaging in construction materials and battery production.

    For the electronics cluster, a net weighted balance of 4% of firms expect business conditions to pick up for the period of April to September 2014.

    This is a turnaround from the net weighted 5% of electronic firms which expected deterioration in the preceding quarter. This optimistic outlook is mainly led by the semiconductor segment, which expects increased orders especially for chips used in smartphones and tablet computers.

    SBF-DP SME IndexThese upbeat sentiments were similarly reflected in the SBF-DP SME Index, a joint initiative of the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and DP Information Group (DP Info). It is a six-month forward-looking Index which measures the sentiments of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) (refer to table: SBF-DP SME Index Outlook for 2Q14-3Q14.)

    The Index, which tracks SME sentiments for April to September 2014 based on 3,000 interviews with SME owners and managers,

    Mr Ho Meng Kit, CEO, Singapore Business Federation

    We urge SMEs to make a concerted effort to pursue growth by tapping into the recent Budget measures which provide support for innovation, financing and internationalisation.

    006-009 EconomyWatch.ab.cp.sbf.ab.indd 8 10/6/14 5:53 PM

  • 9In his annual May Day message, National Trades Union Congress Secretary-General Lim Swee Say said that Singapores economic growth continues to be healthy, but stressed that the labour market continues to be tight.

    The tightening of the labour market will spur a faster pace of economic restructuring. We must do our best to minimise the downside and maximise the upside for our workers and businesses. If not, the outcome of a failed restructuring will be painful for all, he said.

    Imagine a future where rank-and-file workers are replaced by robots; professionals, managers and executives are underemployed; mature workers cannot fit into workplaces that are not age-friendly; working parents, especially working mothers, face worsening work-life balance due to inflexible work arrangements; and low-wage workers are stuck in a world of cheap sourcing, Mr Lim said.

    If we allow these to happen, we will face higher unemployment not just because of job shortage, but also because of job and worker mismatches. Nobody wants to end up with such a future.

    This is why we are determined to keep upgrading skills, creating good jobs and keep growing our economic pie so that there will be more for all to share, Mr Lim elaborated.

    To succeed, all of us have to adjust our mindsets, and change our

    economy, our workforce and our society for the better, he said.

    Mr Lim underlined three thrusts of what is needed from a labour perspective.

    First, employers have to learn to make better use of every worker, and treat every worker better.

    The labour market will remain tight till 2020, and even tighter all the way to 2030. Competition for good people will not ease. Only better employers can attract and retain better people and grow more profitably.

    Second, in a world of job shortages, global unemployment may not improve as businesses embrace new technologies and new methods to stay ahead.

    The increasingly widespread use of cheaper, better and faster robots and cyber-based services is a case in point. The best way to attract more good jobs, create more good careers, and sustain good wage growth for our workers is for us to value our jobs more and take greater pride in what we do.

    Last but not least, as customers and consumers, Singaporeans can change for the better too.

    The globalised world thrives on mutual dependency, mutual support and mutual acceptance. Good services beget good customers, and good customers beget good services. As Singaporeans strive to become a more advanced economy, the country must also strive to be a nation of better customers.

    Restructuring Will Help Deliver More Competitive Economy

    indicated that the manufacturing group (at 54.9) and the transport/storage group (at 54.3) were the two SME clusters most optimistic about their overall performance for the next six months.

    Ms Chen Yew Nah, Managing Director of DP Info, said: SMEs have mixed sentiments about their prospects for the next two quarters. SMEs linked to the global marketplace are becoming more optimistic.

    She further elaborated: Singapore is one of the most open economies in the world, so our SMEs will benefit as trade growth picks up this year and in 2015. Many SMEs have been focused on internal challenges such as improving their productivity. Thats why we have seen capital expenditure of SMEs trending up during the last two years.

    It is now a good time for SMEs to pursue international expansion as it presents the best prospects for long-term growth. Companies linked to the global economy should do well in the coming quarters, she said.

    Echoing an optimistic feel from the ground, Singapores flagship manufacturing company Venture Manufacturing said that business sentiment of most customers has generally been positive, as the company announced a 9.8% increase in net profit to S$30.8 million for






    Mr Ho Meng Kit, CEO of SBF, pointed out that not all SMEs are reaping the benefits of the improving global outlook.

    We urge SMEs to make a concerted effort to pursue growth by tapping into the recent Budget measures which provide support for innovation, financing and internationalisation, he said.

    the quarter ended Mar 31, 2014.The group also expects growing

    revenue contribution from customers won in recent years, as well as from new programmes with a number of existing customers, the company said in a statement, adding that it remains too early to project a broad-based sustainable recovery. SP







    006-009 EconomyWatch.ab.cp.sbf.ab.indd 9 10/6/14 5:53 PM

  • 10

    JulAugSep 2014

    BiZ Voice

    Business leaders urge APEC to speed up FTA process in Asia Pacific.

    blueprint for promoting global value chain development and cooperation, and the APEC strategic plan on capacity building to promote trade and investment.

    Over the last 10 years APEC has taken incremental steps to realise an FTAAP, notably with the endorsement of possible pathways to such an FTAAP these include the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Pacific Alliance.

    ABAC efforts have thus been largely directed at ensuring that there is eventual convergence of these pathways into an FTAAP.

    Mr Tony Nowell, Chairman of ABAC Regional Integration Working Group, summed up ABAC s expectations as such: In order to achieve regional economic integration, we need the Bogor Goals to be achieved by 2020. To achieve the Bogor Goals, we need FTAAP, and to achieve FTAAP, we need one or more of the negotiating pathways to be M


    el W


    , Cor


    ABAC: Improving Regional Trade

    The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) recently convened its Second Senior Officials Meeting of 2014 in the Chinese city of Qingdao, Shandong Province.

    Over 300 delegates representing 21 APEC member economies, the APEC Secretariat, the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and APEC observers participated in the meeting held in May.

    At the meeting, ABAC business leaders urged the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade to accelerate the process towards making this region a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).

    The meeting was held to review the current progress and facilitate future APEC cooperation initiatives in preparation for the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders Meeting in Beijing in November.

    APEC held in-depth discussions on issues in three priority areas: advancing regional economic integration, promoting innovative development, economic reform and growth, and strengthening comprehensive connectivity and infrastructure development.

    Strategic global blueprintThe ministers and business leaders held consultations on launching and advancing the FTAAP process, and exchanged views on key initiatives including the APEC strategic

    successfully completed.Quality, ambition and

    comprehensiveness need to be the goals driving such negotiations if they are to meet business needs.

    Regional comprehensive partnershipThe free flow of trade and investment in goods and services, good infrastructure, and strong financial market mechanisms are among the key elements that determine the extent to which economies participate in the global value chain.

    Hence, much of ABAC s efforts this year were focused on developing recommendations to help economies fulfil these elements, in the process laying the foundation for a comprehensive, high quality FTAAP.

    ABAC has also undertaken initiatives in: identifying the service sectors role in the global value chain, mapping business organisations engaged in services liberalisation, promoting the efficient movement of temporary workers around the region, and engaging APEC officials on service issues.

    Mr Ning Gaoning, ABAC Chairman for 2014

    ABAC now sees the need for APEC to provide more top-down direction in the FTAAP process. We would welcome concrete steps by APEC to the realisation of

    an FTAAP, such as developing a feasibility study, road map and timeline.

    Upon approvalPlease sign:

    Name and Date:

    010-013 BizVoice.cp2.ab.sbf.indd 10 11/06/2014 16:55

  • 11



    he S


    ts T


    & T

    he B





    S ingapore companies are calling for fair tenancy legislation to be introduced to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) cope with rising industrial and commercial rents, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) said.

    Increasingly challenged by escalating business costs such as rents and manpower costs, many businesses are in the midst of restructuring in order to remain competitive.

    SBF Chief Operating Officer Mr Victor Tay said: Economies such as Korea, Belgium and Australia have legislated tenancy acts to protect tenants and small retailers, while the UK has both legislation and a voluntary code which consists of checklist and model lease templates to help tenants in lease negotiation and renewal.

    Echoing similar sentiments, Ms Cynthia Phua, a member of the SBF-led SME Committee (SMEC), noted that tenants, especially those in retail and the food and beverage (F&B) business, are more sensitive to rental increase due to its higher impact on business cost.

    There are many small entrepreneurs and retailers, and I strongly believe that they should come together to negotiate for a fair consideration framework, she said.

    Many SMEs who participated in a recent SBF poll indicated that their top three concerns were manpower, land/rent, and financing.

    Singapore Companies Want Fair Tenancy LegislationLocal businesses lack confidence and mindset to expand, reveals SME Development survey.

    To overcome restructuring pains, some 52% of the respondants are looking at business model innovation and developing new businesses, and about 53% are looking at growing their reach of international markets.

    Among the companies polled, 73% are affected by rental rates and lease terms negotiation. When asked what measures would best promote the development of SMEs and reduce rental pressures,

    some 37% opted for Fair Tenancy Legislation while 35% would like to see a Fair Consideration Lease Framework.

    Businesses also said that lease terms for premises are onerous and unfair, and mainly protect the interests of landlords. Examples include: rental based on a percentage of gross turnover; landlords have the right to pre-terminate, move, and alter the boundaries of the tenants premises; landlords insisting that tenants use their selected point-of-sale (POS) systems but tenants have to bear the expenses of doing so.

    Addressing lease, rental issuesMoving forward, Ms Chua said the SMEC will explore the following three-pronged approach to address lease and rental issues.

    SMEC will work with the Government to promote transparency in rental costs and practices, such as publication of rental data to reduce information asymmetry.

    It will reach out and help improve SMEs understanding of tenancy terms, such as developing a

    How to guide on tenancy terms.In addition, SMEC will work

    with stakeholders to explore the development and adoption of standardised rental lease terms, and Government landlords could be early adopters.

    SME financing schemesOther findings from the poll revealed that companies are keen to see more financing channels made available to SMEs 29% polling to the notion of an SME bank, 26% for the provision of SME specific banking loans, and 18% agreeing that access to new financing options can be a viable option.

    Regarding internationalisation, 31% of the respondants would like to collaborate with larger enterprises in overseas projects while 25% indicated that support for mergers and acquisitions should be broadened for international acquisitions.



    promote transparency in rental costs and practices


    improve SMEs understanding of tenancy terms


    work with stakeholders to develop and adopt standardised

    rental lease terms

    010-013 BizVoice.cp2.ab.sbf.indd 11 11/6/14 10:07 AM

  • 12

    JulAugSep 2014

    BiZ Voice



    he S


    ts T


    Singapore Takes Lead in Integrated Urban Solutions Integrated approach key to managing sustainability issues in Asia.

    The need for innovative and integrated urban solutions has always been imperative for Singapore. Given its small size and limited resources, Singapore has always adopted a forward-looking and integrated approach to urban planning and sustainable development.

    With urban sustainability being the focus of many cities around the world, government and business leaders are keen to adopt more holistic approaches to achieve sustainable growth.

    Mr Khoo Teng Chye, Executive Director of the Centre for Liveable Cities, highlighted the need for an integrated approach to urban planning.

    He explained: The interconnected nature of sustainable development calls for going beyond borders, both geographical and disciplinary, to coordinate strategies and make good decisions that benefit citizens.

    Problems are rarely contained within predefined jurisdictions such as one Government agency or a single neighbourhood, Mr Khoo added.

    This is a lesson that Singapore has learnt on its journey to urban sustainability.

    Urban planningSuch challenges are why international leaders recently converged in Singapore to share ideas and solutions on tackling urban issues effectively, such as urban planning, water planning and waste management.

    More than 100 speakers attended the fourth World Cities Summit to share their expertise and insights, including Chinas Minister for Water Resources Mr Chen Lei, the Suez Environnement Cos CEO

    Mr Jean-Louis Chaussade, Gehl Architects founder, Mr

    Jan Gehl, and the World Banks Group CFO and Managing Director, Mr Bertrand Badre.

    Singapores National Environmental Agency CEO Mr Ronnie Tay, observed that business activities and consumption patterns drive up waste volumes as cities grow larger.

    He said: The World Bank has anticipated that by 2025, 4.3 billion urban residents will be generating about 1.42 kg per capita per day of municipal solid waste, making up an estimated total of 2.2 billion tonnes per year.

    Hence, many cities face the challenge of building a clean and liveable environment, and acquiring sustainable environmental solutions.

    The delegates were in Singapore to attend the World Cities Summit, Singapore

    International Water Week and CleanEnviro Summit Singapore

    that was held in June.



    The World Bank anticipates that

    4.3 billionurban residents will be

    generating about

    1.42kgper capita per day of municipal

    solid waste by 2025

    010-013 BizVoice.cp2.ab.sbf.indd 12 11/6/14 10:07 AM

  • 13

    S$375,000 raised to help disadvantaged youths.

    The SBF Foundation (SBFF) organised its inaugural Charity Golf Tournament in May to raise funds for disadvantaged students and other beneficiaries.

    A total of 138 golfers, including guest of honour Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, teed off at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    About S$375,000 in donations was raised from 29 corporate sponsors and 23 in-kind sponsors. SBFF supports two programmes

    the Institute of Technical Educations (ITE) Overseas Industrial Attachment Programme (OIAP) and the Equestrian Federation of Singapores (EFS) EQUAL-ARK Programme (Equine-Assisted Learning for At-Risk Kids).

    Over the next two years, SBFF will support 300 ITE students in their OIAPs, and will also seek to involve more local companies with overseas operations in offering internship opportunities to these students. EFS EQUAL-ARK Programme aims to provide 200 at-risk children each year with an opportunity to undergo and complete a unique and innovative equine-related programme.

    Business is about making profits. But the profits come from the community of people, workers, fellow businessmen, non-business organisations and government.

    So from its profits, it must give back to the community, and especially to the people, said Mr Goh at the event.

    Social responsibilityLaunched on Nov 12, 2013, the

    SBF Foundations Inaugural Charity Golf Tournament

    SBFF was set up in response to a growing sentiment that the business community should be more involved in creating a fair, equitable and inclusive society.

    The SBFF aims to be a collective foundation of the business community and hopes that more businesses will come forward to support its programmes.

    The Foundations threefold objectives are: to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate philanthropy to uplift the less privileged and improve our

    SBF Holdings (SBFH) recently acquired its joint venture firm SBF-PICO Events from its partner Pico Venture.

    Renamed SBF Connect Pte Ltd, the events management firm is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBFH.

    The name signifies SBFs continuous endeavour to serve its members and the business community by connecting them to new markets, people, technology and innovative ideas.

    SBF Connect will continue to organise large scale events, as well as leverage SBF business insights and thought leadership to generate value for its members.

    SBF-Pico Events has successfully organised a number of signature events that have benefited our members and the wider business

    community, said Mr Ho Meng Kit, Chairman, SBF-PICO Events Pte Ltd. The events have spawned international networking opportunities and contributed to stronger Asian insights on global issues that impact business. I would like to thank Pico for the guidance and events management expertise it has imparted to the entity.

    SBF-Pico was incorporated in 2009 as a joint venture between SBFH and Pico Venture. Since its inception, SBF-Pico has managed high-profile conferences such as Global Entrepolis @ Singapore (GES), the Russia-Singapore Business Forum, the APEC CEO Summit 2009, the fourth ABAC Meeting in 2009, and APEC SME Summit 2009.

    After five runs from 2009 to 2013, Global Entrepolis @ Singapore will return in 2015.

    environment; to promote the welfare of the low-wage, elderly and other disadvantaged employees through partnerships with the business community; and to promote education and enhance the employability of needy and disadvantaged youths through collaboration with the business community.

    Since the Foundations launch, a total of S$19 million in donations and pledges has been raised from 25 Founding Donors.

    At the charity golf tournament in May, SBFF recognised the kind donation of S$1 million from Mini Environment Service, its 25th Founding Donor.

    SBF Connects with Members

    010-013 BizVoice.cp2.ab.sbf.indd 13 11/6/14 10:07 AM

  • 14

    JulAugSep 2014





    , Cor





    n M

    in D




    The implications of the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF), introduced by the Ministry of Manpower in 2013, have just dawned upon the Singapore business community.

    One of the biggest policy changes in Singapores manpower landscape will go into effect as you read this edition of BiZQ. Organisations and businesses operating in Singapore will have to comply with the new regulations which take effect on Aug 1, 2014.

    In light of this new national policy, businesses will have to comply with the changes in hiring practices in Singapore.

    Here, we recap the rationale of this policy and what businesses need to do.

    Meeting diverse opportunitiesThe impending implementation of the FCF is one of the most significant regulatory changes in Singapores manpower policy.

    In explaining this key policy initiative some months ago, then-Acting Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin said that

    providing better jobs and diverse opportunities to meet Singaporeans aspirations are the ultimate objectives of economic growth.

    Even as we remain open to foreign manpower to complement our local workforce, all firms must make an effort to consider Singaporeans fairly. Hiring-own-kind and other discriminatory practices that unfairly exclude

    Is Your Business Ready for FAIR?Looking into what the Fair Consideration Framework means to Singapore.

    Singaporeans run against our fundamental values of fairness and meritocracy.

    As this national policy will cut across all strata of Singapores business landscape, Ms Mak Pooi Mun, HR Lead for Logistics South Asia at homegrown Neptune Orient Lines Ltd, told BiZQ that several opportunities will emerge for Singaporeans.

    She summed it up thus: Greater job variety for Singaporeans

    Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Manpower

    Providing better jobs and diverse opportunities to meet Singaporeans aspirations are the ultimate objectives of economic growth...Hiring-own-kind and other discriminatory practices that unfairly exclude Singaporeans run against our fundamental values of fairness and meritocracy.

    Upon approvalPlease sign:

    Name and Date:

    014-016 Commentary.ab.cp.ed.sbf.indd 14 10/06/2014 17:43

  • 15

    will enable Singaporeans to look around and stay within the industries they are familiar with, and they may no longer need to go outside of Singapore to seek managerial roles.

    Different impactAmid rapid modernisation, Singapore has already developed a good and diverse mix of multinational corporations that are working alongside Singapores own homegrown enterprises. The FCF will impact different organisations in different ways.

    As this important legislation is about to come into effect, BiZQ takes stock of two developments that will most clearly affect companies in Singapore.

    First check: Advertise on the Jobs BankFrom this August, businesses submitting Employment Pass (EP) applications these include applications for EP holders who are changing employers are required to advertise their job vacancies on the Jobs Bank ( The Jobs Bank is administered by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA).

    Each advertisement must be open to Singaporeans, comply with the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices, and run for at least 14 calendar days. These requirements must be met before an EP application can be submitted to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

    Advertising on the Jobs Bank will benefit both employers and Singaporean jobseekers, as it facilitates better matching of vacancies with jobseekers. Employers will have access to a larger pool of potential candidates and Singaporeans will have better visibility of job openings.

    As the Singapore Government has said several times since the policy announcement, the purpose of the FCF is to encourage a level playing field for Singaporeans and highlight the importance of

    Advertising on the Jobs Bank

    will benefit both employers and Singaporean jobseekers, as it facilitates better matching of

    vacancies with jobseekers. Employers will have access to a larger pool

    of potential candidates and Singaporeans will have better

    visibility of job openings.

    For more information on the Jobs Bank, visit


    Productivity and Innovation CreditKnown as the PIC scheme in short, this credit scheme provides enhanced tax deductions/allowances and/or cash payouts to businesses investing in productivity and innovation. The PIC scheme provides significant tax deductions for investments in a broad range of activities along the innovation value chain. This includes qualifying expenditure incurred on PIC automation equipment, training of employees, acquisition of intellectual property (IP) rights, registration of certain IP rights, research and development, and approved design

    Innovation & Capability VoucherThe Innovation & Capability Voucher (ICV) scheme provides up to S$5,000 worth of funding to support upgrading of business capabilities. Each voucher can be used to engage a participating service provider under the ICV, who will assist the company with a supportable service in any of the following capability areas: Innovation, Productivity, Human Resources, and Financial

    Increase SME Productivity With Infocomm Adoption and TransformationThis is a one-stop integrated assistance scheme for infocomm implementation by small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The scheme, iSPRINT, was launched in March 2010 to enable productivity and innovation for SMEs across all sectors, and to provide a one-stop integrated assistance scheme for infocomm implementation. The scheme supports first-time adoption of new infocomm capabilities and facilitates the adoption of quick-to-implement packaged solutions and subscription to Software-as-a-Service, the development of complex and integrated business solutions, and the implementation of sector-wide transformational

    Inclusive Growth ProgrammeThe Inclusive Growth Programme supports businesses on productivity improvement projects that share gains with workers. It is applicable to all businesses registered and operating in Singapore. The programme supports companies that embark on productivity improvement projects and share productivity gains with workers. It is also targeted at employers that employ lower wage workers that constitute the bottom 30% of the workforce, with monthly salaries of S$1,700 or Ministry of Manpower

    NEED HELP TO COPE WITH FAIR?BiZQ captured four other government schemes that help businesses increase productivity:


    Upon approvalPlease sign:

    Name and Date:

    014-016 Commentary.ab.cp.ed.sbf.indd 15 10/06/2014 17:43

  • 16

    JulAugSep 2014


    considering Singaporeans fairly for job opportunities.

    The Government has also taken pains to explain that exemptions from the advertising requirements will be given to selected groups. However, this does not preclude employers from the need to consider Singaporeans fairly for employment opportunities.

    Exempted companies found to have nationality-based or other discriminatory human resource practices will face additional scrutiny from the MOM and have their work pass privileges curtailed.

    Principally, those given leeway are businesses with 25 or fewer employees, or job positions that pay a fixed monthly salary of S$12,000 and above.

    The ministry has painstakingly emphasised that the wording of job advertisements must comply with the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices.

    As a general principle, employers should avoid stating any preferences for age, race, language, gender, marital status and religion. It said that it views employers non-compliance with the Tripartite Guidelines seriously, and strongly urges companies and employment agencies acting on their behalf to familiarise themselves with the Tripartite Guidelines before posting job advertisements. Employers that post discriminatory job advertisements will have their work pass privileges curtailed.

    As this issue of BiZQ reaches our readers, they would be well advised to take note that the new Jobs Bank will be launched mid-2014. The WDA would have almost completed the process of engaging groups of employers and potential jobseekers, as well as testing the beta version of the Jobs Bank online platform.

    In announcing this update recently, Minister for Manpower Mr Tan Chuan-Jin said: I dont think that it (the Jobs Bank) will be perfect from the word Go, and users will take some time to become familiar with it. We will refine and improve the Jobs Bank, as we gain more experience and feedback from Singaporeans and employers.

    One advocate of the the Jobs Bank is Singapore National Employers Federations (SNEF)President, Mr Stephen Lee.

    Purpose of the Fair Consideration

    FrameworkTO ENCOURAGE A







    According to Mr Lee, there are benefits where organisations can concentrate all the jobs available while bringing together the jobseekers and the employers on one platform.

    As a result of this new central information point being set up, there is room for data mining, where you can see what sort of jobs are emerging or if there is a future trend of new skills required. So there are some positives and there are no costs for employers to do this, he explained.

    Second check: Be prepared to be scrutinisedAs part of the implementation of the FCF policy with the intention of achieving its desired goals, the government and the MOM will identify and engage firms that may have the scope to improve their hiring and career development practices.

    These firms may include those that have a disproportionately low concentration of Singaporeans at the professional, managerial and executive (PME) level compared to others in their industry, or have had repeated complaints of nationality-based or other discriminatory human resource practices.

    Such firms will be asked to provide additional information to MOM, such as: Organisation charts with nationality information; Recruitment processes; Staff grievance handling procedures; Standing framework for staff progression; and Plans to either develop local internal staff to take on higher roles, or to reduce reliance on EP holders.

    The Ministry has reminded firms to implement an action plan to address shortcomings in their human resources practices. Unresponsive firms can expect greater scrutiny and a longer review period for their EP applications, and may even have their work privileges curtailed.

    Mr Stephen Lee, President, Singapore National Employers Federation

    With the Jobs Bank as the new central information point, there is room for data mining, where you can see what sort of jobs are emerging or if there is a future trend of new skills required. So there are some positives and there are no costs for employers to do this.




    la, C


    s; S



    he S


    ts T


    Upon approvalPlease sign:

    Name and Date:

    014-016 Commentary.ab.cp.ed.sbf.indd 16 10/06/2014 17:43

  • 18

    BiZ Feature

    JulAugSep 2014

    Recognised by its members and the Government for its efforts in championing the needs and

    aspirations of Singapore businesses.


    of Business

    The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) has achieved many international and local milestones since its

    formation in 2002. During the tenures of its two

    chairmen, Mr Stephen Lee (2002-2008) and Mr Tony Chew (2008-2014), SBF has made made steady progress in delivering value to its members and the wider business community.

    Outgoing chairman Mr Tony Chew, who has been closely involved with the apex chamber since its founding 12 years ago, is heartened that the level of its activities and member participation has grown steadily over the years.

    He spoke warmly about how SBF has worked collectively to build the capability of our companies and improve the business operating environment, both at home and abroad.

    Businesses are spurred to build resilience and competitiveness through our programmes, while we contribute to shaping policies for a more business-friendly environment, Mr Chew added.

    He reminisced about how he was first invited to join the 12-member


    BiZ Feature

    A More

    BizQ Upon approval

    Please sign:

    Name and Date:

    018-021 BizFeature-Mr Chew.ab.wo.ab.indd 18 10/06/2014 21:06

  • 19

    development, named the SBF Center, he added.

    Over the years, SBF has seen a steady rise in members activities, missions and visiting delegations. In 2013, the Federation engaged some 74,500 participants in the 550 events and activities it organised and supported. It is receiving more positive feedback from its members of the benefits they have received, and is playing a more important role for Singapore businesses.

    Voice of the business communityThe Federation works closely with the Singapore Government, trade associations, chambers and businesses to foster a pro-business environment. In December 2008, at the height of the global financial crisis, SBF initiated an important dialogue between leaders of the business community and the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Trade and Industry to discuss the impact of the crisis on businesses and their concerns over cash flow and business costs. The $20.5 billion Resilience Package p.20

    Pro-tem Committee, which was set up to help conceive the Federation, in 2001.

    It was a huge task and I applaud the many persons who played a role in it, he said, paying special tribute to Mr Stephen Lee for laying the foundation of the Federation during its formative years.

    Reflecting on the Federations growth, Mr Chew said the apex chamber has made steady progress since its inauguration. Its membership has grown from 15,000 to 21,000 today.

    Over the last few years, we have achieved major milestones. SBF has become a major voice of the business community, Mr Chew said.

    The Federation broke new ground in 2013 with the launch of several important initiatives. We launched the SBF Foundation, established the NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies and inaugurated the SBF Business Institute. A significant proportion of the 33 recommendations to the Minister for Finance by the SBF-led SME Committee (SMEC) were included in Singapores Budget 2013. Another milestone would be the opening of SBFs permanent headquarters in late 2016 at a prime downtown

    unveiled in Budget 2009 helped to alleviate some of the concerns.

    The formation of the SMEC in 2011 has provided members, particularly SMEs, with a stronger voice to the Government. SBF has become an effective advocate of business. The Government has recognised SBFs wide representations, good data and careful deliberations. The SMECs contributions to business policy have been appreciated by the Government as well as the business community.

    With ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), SBF continued to advocate greater regional integration, to allow its members better access to a larger and more efficient market.

    Helping businesses network and internationaliseSince its inception, SBF has been proactively supporting its members in internationalising their businesses. In 2013, SBF led 39 overseas business missions to Asia, Africa and Central and Eastern Europe in response to members interests in these markets. It also received 102 incoming

    BizQ Upon approval

    Please sign:

    Name and Date:

    018-021 BizFeature-Mr Chew.ab.wo.ab.indd 19 10/06/2014 21:10

  • 20

    JulAugSep 2014

    BiZ Feature

    delegations from some 40 countries. These enabled its members to make valuable contacts, access information and help forge strong links with their overseas partners.

    Over the years, SBF has inked 155 Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with business chambers and government agencies across 63 countries. The International Relations Committee, which was set up in 2002 to help members network and venture overseas, has spawned five business groups covering ASEAN, North and South Asia, the Middle East and Africa, as well as a Sustainable Development Business Group. Fostering capacity buildingAs part of its efforts to help members build capability, the SBF Mentorship Programme facilitated dialogue sessions between SME bosses and experienced captains of industries allowing the sharing of valuable experience and tips for success. The Federation also worked closely with Government agencies such as the Workforce Development Agency and SPRING Singapore to help companies build capabilities through productivity and business continuity management programmes.

    SBF also collaborated with industry partners to launch the Young Business Leaders Alliance to support young entrepreneurs and business leaders.

    Business voice, value creatorSBF has made steady progress since its founding in 2002. The chamber has a firm footing from which to serve the varied needs and aspirations of its 21,000 members. Its services at home and abroad have a strong foundation. It is receiving more positive feedback from its members of the benefits they have received, and is playing a more important role for Singapore businesses. SBF will continue to work with members and government to build a vibrant and resilient business community.

    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong launched the SBF Foundation (SBFF) on Nov 12, 2013. Mooted by Singapore Business Federation (SBF) Chairman Mr Tony Chew, the Foundation aims to encourage businesses to become more actively involved in community development.

    SBFF works with the business community to promote corporate social responsibility and corporate philanthropy to uplift the less privileged and improve our environment. It promotes the welfare of low-wage, elderly and other disadvantaged employees, as well as education to enhance the employability of needy and disadvantaged youths through partnerships with the business community.

    The SBF Foundation is governed by an independent Board of Directors chaired by Mrs Theresa Foo-Yo Mie Yoen, who is a member of the SBF Board of Trustees and Chairman of The Esplanade Co Ltd and Gardens by the Bay.

    At the launch, SBF gratefully acknowledged the generous gifting by Far East Organization of 22,000 square feet of space, under the Community and Sports Facilities Scheme, at SBF Center for use by the Foundation. It also thanked the 24 founding donors for their generous donations.

    Inauguration of NTU-SBF Centre for African StudiesSBF and Nanyang Technology University (NTU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding last year to establish the NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies.

    The first of its kind in South-east Asia, it will provide in-depth insights on the diverse African market through research, workshops and

    programmes. To be hosted at NTUs Nanyang Business School, the Centre aspires to build knowledge on business, politics and social economics to strengthen the capabilities of policymakers and businesses for engagement with Africa.

    The Centre, a private sector-funded project, is targeted for launch by the middle of this year. Five of Singapores leading investors in Africa were recognised for their contributions to the Centres funding: Indorama Group, Olam International, Pacific International Lines, Tolaram Group and Wilmar International, have each donated S$1 million to the Centres endowment fund and will be the Founding Donors on the Centres Governing Board.

    Recommendations for Budget 2013The SME Committees (SMEC)recommendations were put together in response to certain pressing issues faced by small and medium enterprises (SMEs): tightening resource constraints, rising costs of doing business, declining productivity and the impact of the Governments policy on foreign manpower.

    The suggestions were assembled from numerous discussions and outreach sessions with the SME business community, policy consultations with Government agencies and research.

    Besides reiterating the issues and challenges facing SMEs, SMEC called for more flexibility in the economic restructuring policy to enable the grooming of domestic-oriented industries to sustain the local economy and facilitate tapping into emerging regional opportunities.

    Launch of SBF Foundation

    BizQ Upon approval

    Please sign:

    Name and Date:

    018-021 BizFeature-Mr Chew.ab.wo.ab.indd 20 10/06/2014 21:13

  • 21


    Officially launched by then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong on April 11, 2002 Mr Stephen Lee assumes the Singapore Business Federation (SBF)chairmanship

    Organised more than 50 events and activities, which catered to some 10,000 members

    Focused on promoting business and investment opportunities both in Singapore and abroad

    Doubled its offerings of activities and events for members

    Launch of inaugural BiZQ issue to update members on business and industry insights

    Formation of the Malaysia-Singapore Business Council (MSBC) to forge closer economic ties between both countries

    Jointly presented Global Entrepolis @ Singapore (GES) with the Economic Development Board (EDB), attracting participants from over 40 countries

    SBF MILESTONES 2002-2013


    Supported the World Economic Forum in partnership with the EDB

    Participation in the Federa-tions events reached 22,000, double that of 2004


    Introduced the Mentoring Programme

    Recognised both locally and overseas as an apex chamber of the Singapore business community




    Launched the Middle East Business Group

    Hosted and co-organised the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, and the inaugural ASEAN Business Awards

    Hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit and APEC Business Advisory Council meetings, held in conjunction with the APEC Leaders Summit

    Reached out to 48,300 participants through its activities

    Inaugurated five dedicated geographic business groups to further help members gain valuable insights and tap into regional opportunities

    Launched a series of initiatives in support of the Economic Strategies Committees recommen-dations

    Organised the Singapore Sustainability Awards to recognise companies for their eco-friendly practices

    Commemo-rated SBFs 10th anniversary

    New direction: to be a more issue-centric organisation representing the concerns and needs of its members (stronger voice repre-sentation)

    Reviewed and finalised SBFs strategic plan for 20122016

    Increased engagement of emerging markets

    Established the SME Committee (SMEC) to better represent members and small and medium enterprises

    Launch of SBF Foundation

    Launch of SBF-NTU Centre for African Studies

    Deeper engagement of emerging markets, particularly Africa

    Better advocacy for businesses through the SMEC




    Mr Stephen Lee hands over the SBF chairmanship to Mr Tony Chew

    Strengthened its three-pronged focus of representing the voice of the business community, helping members build resilience, and facilitating business opportunities

    Received ownership of GES from the EDB




    BizQ Upon approval

    Please sign:

    Name and Date:

    018-021 BizFeature-Mr Chew.ab.wo.ab.indd 21 10/06/2014 21:13

  • In BiZ With22

    JulAugSep 2014K


    n C


    Propelled by an economic recovery in most developed economies and continued growth opportunities within the Asia-Pacific region, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have never had it so good.

    However, with opportunities, there are also challenges. In particular, one challenge that affects many SMEs relates to the whole concept of business succession planning.

    A new global study by international accounting and business advisory firm Baker Tilly International shows that SMEs in Asia are inadequately prepared to conduct business succession planning.

    A failure to address this fundamental challenge in SMEs will only lead to a dilution in the long term value of family-run businesses in Asia, says chief investigator Dr Richard Shrapnel, Business Succession Planning Leader at the network. He is also a Partner at Baker Tilly Pitcher Partners.

    Dr Shrapnel adds that the inherent challenge in family-run SMEs will be compounded as a result of a chemistry difference between the higher and better educated younger generation of executives and managers, and their older founding predecessors. This will bring with it attitudinal and cultural differences while both generational groups manage the

    SMEs need to think about the long-term value of family-run businesses.

    Planning for Business Succession

    In BiZ WithIn BiZ With

    succession planning into their family-oriented organisations, he observes.

    The Baker Tilly International study, which commenced in early

    2010, concluded in June 2014. As of end-May, the survey

    had garnered some 2,500 responses with a third of the respondents based in

    Asia. Dr Shrapnel culled the following insights from the global survey for BiZQ.

    What is business succession planning and why has it been slow to gain traction in this region?Business succession planning is a relatively new concept in Asia as most of the Asian companies that are around now are relatively young

    compared with family-owned businesses in Europe and the US. Typically, when a family sets

    up a company, business succession should be given concurrent thought to ensure that the future value of the entity is kept intact. This appears to be more of the case in Europe and the US.

    For business succession planning to take place, the founders have to give material thought to the whole process. From this perspective, the approach of business succession planning connects and links all aspects of the business, including

    Dr Richard Shrapnel, Practice Leader for Business Succession Planning, Baker Tilly Pitcher Partners

    A failure to address this fundamental challenge in SMEs will only lead to a dilution in the long term value of family-run businesses in Asia.

    business together. In addition, todays family-

    owned Asian businesses operate their companies in an environment which is far more competitive and matured than ever before. This escalates the urgency of executing some elements of business

    Upon approvalPlease sign:

    Name and Date:

    022-023 InBizWith.ab.indd 22 10/06/2014 17:50

  • 23

    The eight principles that they should consider are: Succession is about business evolution; Begin with a process; Set clear goals; Harmony and integrity are important; Focus on business continuity; Start the planning early; Find the right balance; Seek the right expertise.

    PLANNING THE NEXT STAGESuccession Is Not RetirementSuccession is about evolution business evolution. It is about growth, opportunity and building the future while you are here today.

    It is about taking responsibility for future-proofing the capital value of the business by ensuring that the next team is capable, competent, and experienced, and will be able to take the business to the next level. Succession is the legacy you leave.

    Start With ReadinessEstablish a process, formalise it, timetable it, monitor it and commit the necessary resources.

    Keep communication open and discuss the process openly, and identify possible limitations and barriers before commencement.

    Set Your Goals Before The JourneyWrite down the goals you want to achieve from the succession process.

    They must be clear and measurable, but more importantly, they must be compelling.

    Price Is Not FirstThe focus of the succession process is on continuity of the business and

    ongoing jobs for employees. No matter what your intent is,

    whether to sell, retain or transfer the business, these goals do not change.

    Harmony Is A MustHarmony is about integrity and keeping the focus on the outcomes already set.

    In engaging with family and other persons involved in succession, you must recognise that they are seeking certainty about the process and their future.

    Plan An Early Start You cannot start succession planning too early, bearing in mind that succession is about business continuity, ongoing jobs and building the capital value of a business.

    These are outcomes you want to achieve the moment you begin to think about starting a business and will continue for as long as that business exists.

    Equality Is Not EqualIf you have family, one of the key challenges you will face is finding the right balance of participation, ownership and distribution of wealth in your succession process.

    You must seek to be fair based on the historical and future contribution that family members have made and will be expected to make.

    Ask Before You Get LostSeek advice from your succession advisor early and allow them to work with existing taxation and legal advisors to achieve the best blend of succession expertise and knowledge of both your business and family.

    For more information about Baker

    Tilly International Singapores survey

    report, refer to

    the business strategy, capital value, ownership of equity, governance, tax planning, family wealth management and estate planning.

    One of the fundamental reasons why this occurrence has yet to be fully understood lies in the fact that business succession in Asia is occurring at later ages of the founders.

    The founders of Asian businesses tend to stay on longer, giving rise to the prospect that succession may skip a generation. And at the point of succession, there is the prospect of disruption and discontinuity.

    Another key point is that the next generation of leaders in Asian family businesses tends to be more Western educated, therefore injecting a different set of cultural values and organisational principles. This may likely not resonate with the founders of the business, and is likely to give rise to conflicts during succession.

    Having a methodical succession plan overcomes these challenges.

    What are some of the findings of this global survey?The survey shows that family harmony is a key consideration across all stages of the business succession process with 68% of the respondents stating that it is important before starting the planning process; 75% of the respondants say it is important after the process is completed.

    Spouses appear to show greater concern for harmony where there are only sons in the family. They are also conscious of the need to ensure that the next generation does not feel pressured to take over.

    Family members and other people involved in business succession also need certainty about the process and their future. They need to feel able to contribute and that there will be positive outcomes where there are opportunities for individual growth.

    There is a need to actively invite contributions and provide active progress updates. Otherwise, one will see some sorts of family conflict emerge.

    What should family businesses big or small do to embark on the journey of business succession planning?Given the variety and the strength of the inputs into this one-of-a-kind global survey, Baker Tilly International developed an eight-principled methodical approach in order to guide Asian family-owned businesses through the process of business succession planning.

    Upon approvalPlease sign:

    Name and Date:

    022-023 InBizWith.ab.indd 23 11/06/2014 16:58

  • 24

    JulAugSep 2014


    Big Data,Big Opportunity


    ty Im


    Big Data is a popular term used to describe the exponential growth and availability of data. And in todays knowledge economy, such information may be as important to businesses in relation to consumers, products and services as the Internet has become.

    According to research firm International Data Corp, the worldwide big data technologyand services market is expected to grow at a 27% compounded annual rate, and exceed US$32 billion(S$40 billion) by 2017.

    So how can businesses optimise the benefits of big data?

    In an increasingly digitalworld, there is a widening gap

    between the companies that effectively manage data and

    those that dont.Consumer-product

    companies and retail organisations are

    monitoring social-media platforms

    such as Facebook and Twitter to obtain

    insights into customer behaviour, preferences and

    product perception. Insurance companies

    are using big-data analysis to see which home insurance

    applications can be immediately processed, and which ones needa validating in-person visit froman agent.

    BiZQ speaks with Professor Ashwin Malshe, an expert in social media and digital marketing at the ESSEC Business School, on how big data can help companies add value to their businesses. Prof Malshes research is focused on marketing strategy, marketing-finance interface, consumer behaviour and behavioural decision theory.

    Should companies embrace big data? What type of companies do you think would benefit the most from such information?It depends on many factors. Although big data applications are predominantly for the marketing domain, other organisational



    and services margrow at a 27% co

    dy bba

    e ihlyh

    onmprggmmmmuudghviot panbih hawp

    wAshwin MalsheA h l

    grow at a 27%


    ceedn) byan bof b

    ncreahereen thtivese thCo

    cooc mmoro





    ng bhichns cand win-p


    g 7rate, and exc(S( $40 billion

    So how cathhtht ee benefits

    InI an inwwoow rlr d, th

    bebb twt eeefe fefect

    thht oos




    arare usintoto see wh

    apapplicationprprocessed, ana validating an agent.

    BiZQ spea

    Use information to add value to your business.

    Upon approvalPlease sign:

    Name and Date:

    024-027 Innovations LL.ed.sbf.ab.indd 24 11/06/2014 09:07

  • 25

    p.26 SP

    H L



    With the large volume of social media chatter occurring online, mining such data is a relatively easy and low-cost process because several social networks, such as Twitter, allow anyone to tap into their fire hose for free or at a low cost.

    On the other hand, more complex marketing data can be painstakingly assembled by merging data from multiple sources such as various websites, government data sources, the companys own supplier databases, global positioning system data, and so forth.

    This kind of enterprise is time-consuming and costly, and needs long-term focus. However, if a company has the bandwidth to undertake more complicated big-data analysis, this process should be seriously considered.

    Personally, I believe that many types of companies will benefit from big data. However, the benefits will vary widely, based on how data-centric an organisation is.

    Take for example, a start-up with a mobile app as their main product, which generates large amounts of user data every day. Assuming this company has a data-centric culture, they are likely to leverage on the insights generated by data analysis to improve customer satisfaction and garner a positive word of mouth.

    On the contrary, a large company with a massive database, powerful computers, and competent analytics personnel may not necessarily benefit from big data if its top management refuses to include big data insights into their decision making. Willingness to embrace this technology at all management levels is the key determinant of how beneficial big data can be as a tool for businesses.

    The willingness to embrace this technology at all management levels is the key determinant of how beneficial big data can be as a tool for businesses.

    What are the five industries that would benefit most from big data?In no particular order, retail including e-commerce, telecommunications, financial

    institutions, social networking platforms and health care. Currently, these five industries have massive amounts of data on users, transactions and many other aspects, which makes exploring that data more likely.

    But there is no reason to limit the list to just these five industries. For example, logistics companies such as UPS and Fedex in the US rely heavily on big data to plan delivery routes most efficiently.

    Mobile app developers can merge their user data with location data and deliver highly contextual location-based advertisements. The film industry also benefits from mining social media data in order to better plan marketing spending before and after a movie release.

    Advertising and media agencies are benefitting from big data because they can use the statistics derived from each campaign to provide a detailed anaylsis and report for their clients, which in turn help these customers understand their audiences better.

    Its now well-accepted that most of the trading of more liquid stocks happens using algorithmic trading.

    Algo traders, as these traders

    Professor Ashwin Malshe, ESSEC Business School

    Many types of companies will benefit from big data. However, the benefits will vary widely, based on how data-centric an organisation is...Willingness to embrace all management levels is the key determinant of how beneficial big data can be as a tool for businesses.

    functions are increasingly moving into big-data deployment.

    For example, human resources, production, supply chain, finance and so forth all benefit from big-data insights. Companies first need to assess whether they really have a requirement for big data analysis. If most of their current problems can be solved by using easily available small datasets, taking the big data route might be overkill.

    Big data can be generated within the company or procured from external sources. Take for example social media data, which can be used to perform sentiment analysis for companies to determine how their corporate image is perceived by the general public.












    But there is no reason to limitthis list to just these five.

    Upon approvalPlease sign:

    Name and Date:

    024-027 Innovations LL.ed.sbf.ab.indd 25 11/06/2014 09:09

  • 26

    JulAugSep 2014

    Innovationsare called, calibrate their stock-trading models based on vast amounts of financial data.

    In automobile manufacturing, big data is revolutionising production from concept design through marketing and aftermarket services. Thus, the applications of big data are possible in any industry.

    However, currently, the five mentioned industries have data on users, transactions and many other aspects, which makes exploring that information much more likely.

    What would you suggest as the first step that companies interested in big data should consider?It is always to make sure that the organisation is willing to embrace a data-centric culture. No amount of data analysis can help a company that is unwilling to use the insights derived in its business decision-making process.

    There are many reasons whybig data adoption may fail in a company. One of the most important is the lack of adoption of big-data analytics insights.

    What are the most common problems and challenges encountered in big data projects?Organising the gathered data into a form that can be easily interpreted remains the biggest challenge in any data analysis, big or small.

    This task is more complicatedin big data because much ofthe information is unstructuredand is being generated at a phenomenal speed.

    Even companies like IBM spend on average 80% of their time on preparing data, and only 20% in insight generation and discovery.

    Another hurdle in big data projects is translating the insights into actionable managerial decisions. In my opinion, this poses a severe challenge because data scientists or analysts are usually not trained to be business-domain experts.

    On the other hand, managers are not trained in technical know-how that analysts possess. Thus, the success of a big data project also rests on the ability of data scientists and analysts to convey critical insights to managers, and the ability of these managers to decipher

    and incorporate them into their decision-making process.

    Can you give some examples of successful big data projects in Singapore and other countries?SingTel, StarHub and M1 use big data to get insights on consumers. I am not sure to what extent they incorporate these insights into their business practices, however. Negative reviews and comments are pervasive on their social media channels.

    American companies have been at the forefront of big data analytics deployment. Retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target have used big data to great advantage. In particular, Wal-Mart has been one of the most innovative companies when it comes to using technology to cut costs and deliver better value to its customers.

    Online retailer, Amazon, also follows a similar philosophy, benefiting from the digital nature of its store as it can track consumer behaviour more precisely. They can also perform real-time experiments on minor changes in website layout, pricing and so forth.

    1. How companies create valueIn todays economy, data and the knowledge derived from it

    is the new driver of value. Data-driven companies are consistently outperforming their non-data-driven peers. Plus, they are better equipped to make decisions on the fly. This is important because, in the knowledge economy, agility matters more than stability.

    2. How they interact with their customersSuffice it to say that firmsknow more than ever about


    their customers. Even before products go to the market, data gives companies vital clues as to the motivations and intentions of their prospective buyers.

    3. The kind of talent they recruitBig data is quickly becoming a critically important driver of business success across sectors. But many executives say they dont think their companies are equipped to make the most of it. This is changing the way they recruit and train talent.

    4. How they perceive privacyAs the National Security Agency scandal helped reveal, privacy isa big issue in the knowledge economy. That said, users also understand the limitations of privacy in the digital world.

    5. What they think about globalisationAn effective solution to the privacy conundrum will need to be global laws that apply not only to citizens but also to corporations.

    Upon approvalPlease sign:

    Name and Date:

    024-027 Innovations LL.ed.sbf.ab.indd 26 11/06/2014 09:12

  • 27

    Most companies in Singapore are becoming more data-driven, applying insights or analytics to everything from key business processes to customer-centric decisions. The rapid growth of data around the corporate world has led to the fact that data centres have to be better prepared to manage this fast information growth.

    To do this, managers of data centres need to have a solid understanding and insight into their existing and planned infrastructure, as this will form the basis of a flexible framework to manage longer-term data trends.

    Big data centres process vast amounts of valuable information accessed in real time, so havinga fast and stable connection isvery important.

    Data centres that are able to provide flexible access to fast and reliable storage will find themselves best placed to capitalise on the big data opportunity, said Joseph Lim, Vice President of Asia Pacific, FNT Solutions Pte Ltd, a unit of German-headquartered FNT Software.

    Only when businesses are able to get their data centre infrastructure management strategy in order will they be able to benefit by pulling together information from theirdata centres, so as to deliver a meaningful analysis of their customer patterns, he said.

    In the recent past, there have

    Command product is able to provide all the necessary information and capabilities for capacity planning regarding compute, storage and network infrastructure requirements, software and business services provided, and include space, cooling and power in a data centre to run them efficiently.

    The challenge for managers operating large computer networks is that they need to efficiently deploy all data centre assets to handle growing loads.

    The solution lies in optimal planning, process automation, predictive analysis and prognosis of network, and cooling capacities. To deliver on this solution requires detailed information on the current and planned states of all devices, said Mr Lim.

    Therefore, it is essential to have scenario capabilities and planning processes that can serve as a basis for accurate prognosis, he added.

    Other concerns requiring constant attention from data centre managers include the development of new facilities, the consolidation or replacement of existing data centres, and the emergence of new technologies or architectural changes, he added.

    Managing Data Centre Recovery

    been alarming incidents, such as M1s mobile-network outage, the fire at SingTels Bukit Panjang Internet Exchange, and technical glitches at DBS and POSB ATMs. This is somewhat disturbing as it affects the continuity of services to the public.

    In the case of M1s outage, industry regulator Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore issued this statement:

    Under the Telecommunication Service Resiliency Code, operators are required to ensure that the design of their networks and services are resilient to service outages, and when outages dooccur, to ensure that they restore services quickly.

    Managing business recoveryBig data is increasingly used to optimise business processes. The analysis of vast amounts of data has huge potential for commerce, public administration and other areas.

    For example, manufacturers monitor minute vibration data from their equipment, which changes slightly as it wears down. This is to predict the optimal time to replace or maintain the equipment. Replacing it too soon wastes money; replacing it too late triggers an expensive disruption.

    This begs the need to have optimal insights into the data centre and planned infrastructure, said Mr Lim. An enterprise solution like FNT

    Mr Joseph Lim, Vice President of Asia Pacific, FNT Solutions

    The ability to do this lies in adopting an integrated software solution that documents, tracks and analyses entire IT networks that will aid in business recovery. This is one of the main concerns for business continuity management.

    Between big data and business continuity.

    Upon approvalPlease sign:

    Name and Date:

    024-027 Innovations LL.ed.sbf.ab.indd 27 11/06/2014 09:10

  • JulAugSep 2014


    Inside SBF







    Singapore Business Federation (SBF) members recently gained a better understanding of the market dynamics and opportunities that Portugal and Switzerland have to offer the Singapore business community.

    The Federation , supported by IE Singapore, organised a business mission to these two European countries in conjunction with President Tony Tans visit in May.

    SBF CEO Mr Ho Meng Kit led the 16-member business delegation, which included business leaders and senior

    representatives from diverse industries such as business consultancy and financial services, general trading, information and communications technology (ICT), logistics, pharmaceuticals, port management, real estate and venture capital.

    The trip included briefings by ministries and government agencies from both countries, as well as business-matching sessions.

    Singapore-Switzerland ForumSBF also organised bilateral business forums in both countries. In Portugal

    where Singapores Mr S. Iswaran, Minister, Prime Ministers Office, Second