Will Singapore’s tech-focused budget backfire?

Other SMEs might be left behind.

Singapore’s recently-released Budget 2016 featured a big spike in tech spending, with the government committing up to $450 million to support a new national robotics programme. At Singapore Business Review’s (SBR) 2016 Budget Breakfast Briefing, experts weighed in on whether other sectors run the risk of being left behind as Singapore splurges on tech-oriented sectors.

“I don’t think the government is cherry-picking sectors,” said Chia Seng Chye, Partner, Tax Services, Ernst & Young Solutions LLP. Chia noted that automation across all sectors has long been a key focus of government policy, and the increased tech spending in this year’s Budget is an extension of this trend.

Shanker Iyer, Chairman of Iyer Practice Advisers, said that he does not think that other sectors will get left behind with the increased focused on tech-oriented sectors. “Technology is impacting everyday life. With the technology that is rapidly evolving, this is certainly a key area that we can develop. Companies in all sectors rely on technology to boost growth and productivity,” he said.

“Technology is changing the way we live, work and communicate. If you look at the tax schemes for innovation, clearly tech is on the forefront,” said Lee Tiong Heng, Tax Partner, Deloitte Singapore. ”We can build up tech in other industries and sectors,” Lee added.

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