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ECONOMY, MARKETS & INVESTING, TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Daily Briefing: Social development minister refutes inequality gap; UK luxury car hire kicks off in Singapore

And biotech startup RWDC clinches $17.97m in funding round.

From Channel News Asia:

Responding to a study where Singapore was ranked as the worst in terms of battling inequality, social and family development minister Desmond Lee saying that Singapore gears for ‘real outcomes’ in health, education, jobs, and housing rather than satisfying a ‘collection of ideologically driven indicators’.

An Oxfam inequality index, released by the global developmental charity placed Singapore 149 out of 157 countries based on efforts to tackle the inequality gap.

Mr Lee took issue with Oxfam’s assumption that high taxation and high public expenditure equates commitment to combatting inequality, instead stating it is more important to look at the outcomes achieved.

"Yes, the income tax burden on Singaporeans is low. And almost half the population do not pay any income tax. Yet they benefit more than proportionately from the high quality of infrastructure and social support that the state provides," the minister said.

The minister noted that whilst Singapore does not have a minimum wage, it does have income support for low-income workers, schemes for worker upskilling and a progressive wage model for certain low-wage jobs

Read more here.

From TTG Asia:

UK-based Avis Car Rental launched its service in Singapore through its partnership with luxury car retailer Wearnes Automotive.

The partnership will enable customers travelling to Singapore to have a wider selection of luxury rental car choices, including premium marques such as Jaguar, Infiniti, Land Rover and Volvo.

Customers travelling to Singapore can collect their Avis Prestige vehicle either at Changi Airport, Havelock Road or arrange for a delivery to their doorstep.
Helen Lau, general manager, Singapore, Avis Budget Group, said: “We’re committed to developing and extending an unrivalled customer experience – and that includes offering exquisite cars and meet-and-greet services that meets the exacting requirements of our high caliber customers.”

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From e27:

Singapore-headquartered biotech startup RWDC Industries raised $17.97m (US$13m) in a Series A2 round co-led by venture capital firms Vickers Venture Partners and WI Harper Group.

Finance firm Ridgevale Enterprises and several unknown individual investors also participated in the round.

The money will primarily be used to expand RWDC’s PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate) production capacity in Athens, Georgia (US) to 2,000 tonnes per year. As part of the deal, Vickers Chairman and Founder Dr Finian Tan, along with WI Harper Chairman Peter Liu, have joined RWDC’s Board of Directors.

Read more here.

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