MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Government urged to focus on developing unicorns

Singapore Business Federation recommended tax incentives and rebates to spur investment in potential unicorns.

The SME Committee (SMEC) led by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) submitted its recommendations for Singapore Budget 2018 to the government.

Amongst its 18 recommendations is the encouragement for the private sector to help develop unicorns in Singapore.

"This can be achieved given a conducive business environment, with financial and non-financial support to innovative young companies that have the potential to eventually become unicorns," SMEC said.

SMEC recommended design incentives for startups to set up base or relocate to Singapore and rewards for private companies for investing in potential unicorns through grants and tax incentives.

The committee also proposed to include rebates for private companies in case their investments failed.

The schemes should incorporate criteria like a 30% minimum stake in the potential unicorn company, a requirement for the unicorn to house its key functions in Singapore, and the creation of jobs for Singaporeans. 

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