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KPMG urges Singapore to expand business perks to sustainability, AI, R&D

A  Sustainability Credit Scheme was proposed to help firms with their ESG push.

To help enterprises stay competitive and relevant amid rising costs, KPMG has underscored the need to expand the perks and incentive system to cover trends that drive growth, such as ESG, AI and machine learning.

Chiu Wu Hong, partner and head of private enterprise at KPMG, said tax incentives, funding for innovation, streamlined regulations, and digital-focused initiatives, usually top the wish lists of companies each year.

For 2024, extending support with a special focus on the major growth drivers will help enterprises, big or small, to “stay competitive and agile.”

Singapore can help businesses with their ESG journey by introducing a Sustainability Credit Scheme that offers higher tax deduction to companies that are using sustainable tech or solutions. 

Incentivising firms to adopt new technologies while encouraging workers to learn how to use them should also help with the great tech push.

“As for artificial intelligence and machine learning, we should make it pervasive, just like how some of the software tools are being used widely by all companies now,” Lee Bo Han, Partner, R&D and Incentive Advisory, KPMG in Singapore said in the latest episode of KPMG’s SG Budget 2024 Insights. “We should have grants and schemes to uplift all employees to learn about machine learning and artificial intelligence, data management, data analytics and so forth.”

He also stressed the need for the government to make research and development (R&D) more attractive by dangling one of the highest tax deductions available to R&D activities in the country.

He added that the Intellectual Property (IP) development incentive can also be broadened to include patentable IP, in addition to registered IP

“In that way, we are not only encouraging companies to invest in R&D, but we are letting them reap the benefits of recurring income that they derive from the IP developed in Singapore.

READ MORE: KPMG highlights need for Singapore to cement its leadership role in the region

Elevated business costs, prolonged market uncertainties globally and tightening of monetary policies were some of the top worries of enterprises in Singapore currently according to KPMG.

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