Business

Local firms urged to go abroad, embrace automation

Local firms have been encouraged to change their business models to take advantage of opportunities presented by economic restructuring and technological disruption.

Expanding abroad, as well as embracing automation and other types of new technology, were cited as essential steps for firms here at the annual Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Credit Suisse business outlook forum.
The event was held at One Raffles Link yesterday.

Mr Claude Harbonn, managing director and head of investment consulting South-east Asia at Credit Suisse, said global economic growth is accelerating and is forecast to come in at 3.5 per cent this year, up from 3 per cent last year. "China is now the most attractive Asian market to invest in due to its cheap valuations and strong earnings growth," he added.

But, said panellist Jean Yip, founder and chairman of the Jean Yip group, there are "many early stage problems such as making the right connections, dealing with government rules and regulations, language barriers and a lack of familiarity with the culture overseas".

Firms should make trips overseas to get to know the environment they will be expanding their businesses into, panellists suggested.

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