Vital to strengthen partnerships

MR KURT WEE, PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES

"I think the Budget is really about pushing ahead with the resources and needs for transformation and the move into the next era of robotics... and ensuring that those companies which wish to transform have the resources to do so.

We are also quite heartened by the efforts towards strengthening the support ecosystem for SMEs and trade associations.

Where I think it was lacking is in the area of helping with the costs of doing business. It quite surprised me that the levies for the services and the construction industry will actually continue to increase because, especially in the service industry, they are highly dependent on manpower and manpower is their main cost...

The Budget addresses some of the structural needs, going forward, but what is going to be really important is how we strengthen partnerships (between Government, business and the labour movement).

If we can close the gaps between these sectors, I think we will be able to (go even further)."

HELP WITH COSTS

Where I think it was lacking is in the area of helping with the costs of doing business.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 27, 2016, with the headline 'Vital to strengthen partnerships'. Print Edition | Subscribe