Productivity and innovation schemes in the spotlight.
According to a release by KPMG, sustainable, long term business performance must centre on investments into ‘value creation’, and the brand equity this generates. Examples of these investments include those in branding, research and development and investments in intellectual property.
Mr Tay Hong Beng, Head of Tax, KPMG in Singapore, says, “Looking to the medium and long term, creating competitive advantage by providing better products and services and identifying new niche areas or new markets will be driven by a focus on value creation.”
He added that given the focus on productivity in recent years, more can be done to promote innovation and the growth of innovative Singapore brands.
KPMG’s 2013 wishlist therefore first addresses the theme of helping Singapore businesses grow their brand.
In all, the four key themes KPMG hopes to see in Budget 2013 this year are therefore:
I: Help enterprises to build trusted and reliable brands
Mr Tay says, “The value creation process can help businesses build sustainable competitive advantage by helping them build trusted and reliable brands. We therefore see the need for new schemes to support the growth of local brands as well as new tax incentives to help these enterprises enjoy tax benefits from the commercialisation of their brands.”
II: Promoting innovation in Singapore
Looking beyond productivity, more measures can be done to encourage innovation. In all, 35 percent of participants at the pre-Budget Forum felt that innovation activities merited more government support while 31 percent of all participants felt that existing productivity and innovation schemes should be less prescriptive.
“More should also be done to recognise the higher risks involved with undertaking innovation related activities,” says Mr Tay, “Rationalising productivity and innovation incentive schemes and widening the scope of eligibility may encourage higher participation in these schemes.
Extending the enhanced R&D tax deduction to R&D centres of multinational companies may also attract more corporate R&D laboratories to Singapore. These measures will go some way to helping Singapore attain its aim of reaching R&D spending at 3.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product by 2015.”
III: Positioning Singapore as a premier Asian business hub
Mr Tay says, “In these highly challenging and competitive environment, Singapore must not abandon opportunities and must pave the way to become one of the most preferred centres for investment in Asia, if not the world.”
Representing opportunities for Singapore, these proposals are aimed at strengthening Singapore’s
position as a premier Asian business hub.
IV: Encourage businesses to play a part in achieving social objectives
Mr Tay adds, “Much has been suggested for businesses in Singapore, but it is just as important that measures are taken to encourage the ‘rootedness’ of Singaporeans. Our suggestions this year include measures to help companies capitalise on and manage an ageing workforce, and to support the family unit.”
More From Singapore Business Review