What You Need to Know About Singapore Budget 2017
The Singapore Budget 2017 was delivered by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament on February 20. Hailed as a budget for today and tomorrow, the budget strives to achieve a trifecta of an innovative and connected economy, a sustainable fiscal system, and a caring and inclusive society.
In particular, S$2.4 billion has been earmarked to implement the strategies put forth by the Committee on the Future Economy, of which more than S$80 million has been set aside to boost SMEs’ digital capabilities. Some of the highlights include:
SMEs Go Digital Programme launched
Introduction of industry Digital Plans on technologies to use at each stage of growth
A new SME Technology Hub for more digitally advanced SMEs to receive specialist advice
Advice and funding support for piloting emerging ICT solutions
We are heartened by the announcement of these new initiatives by the government. We believe that the measures are both timely and necessary as the Singapore economy is now at an inflection point in the new digital landscape. Both the adoption of digital technologies and the development of strong digital capabilities by our SMEs, which form the bulk of our enterprises, will underpin over future economic success. Failure to adopt and adapt on the other hand may lead to irrelevance in the new digital age.
As the saying goes, the devil lies in the details. We will be eagerly awaiting the release of more information in the coming days and weeks ahead. And we definitely look to support the government in these worthwhile initiatives. In the meantime though, a word of caution is necessary. The journey ahead is not going to be smooth sailing. SMEs need to be willing to change and to embrace digital transformation. This will necessitate a mindset shift for many of the SMEs. As Mahatma Gandhi famously said, “your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.”
We wish everyone all the best in their digital journeys!