Coronavirus: US firms still have faith in Singapore as business hub
Most not repatriating or laying off staff, believe disruptions caused by virus outbreak are manageable
Despite the outbreak of the coronavirus here and globally, 98 per cent of member companies surveyed by the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AmCham) said they were still confident in Singapore as a business destination.
One reason was the Government's response to the outbreak, according to the survey results, released alongside a dialogue session with Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing.
Most of the member firms say they are not permanently repatriating foreign staff or laying off employees.
They will see a hit to operations and revenues because of the outbreak, and many are changing their business plans for this year but feel the disruption is manageable.
Almost all, or 97 per cent, of respondents believe Singapore has been effective in communicating health and safety updates. And 79 per cent said the Government has been effective in addressing the potential economic impact.
Speaking at the launch of AmCham's and Sandpiper Communications' Covid-19 business impact survey yesterday, Mr Chan said Singapore will remain steadfast in closing the 2 per cent gap in confidence, as even a small percentage could have a disproportionate impact on our economy.
The session had about 80 attendees from various US companies like Boeing, Johnson & Johnson and American International Group.
Mr Chan said: "We always have an eye for the future, which is to help businesses to position themselves going forward.
"No matter how well you think we might be doing, in a typical Singaporean psyche, we want to do better. We will get to that 100 per cent and work together as a community."
The survey, which involved 225 companies, collected responses from Feb 12 to 18.
There are about 4,500 American companies in Singapore, said an AmCham spokesman.
More still needs to be done in business preparedness, as 44 per cent said they were not prepared and 26 per cent were unsure of handling the long-term impacts of the epidemic.
Mr Ang Choo Pin, Asia's senior director of government and corporate affairs at Expedia Group, told The New Paper that he was hopeful for the hard-hit industry's rebound.
The 42-year-old, who spoke at the dialogue, said: "Tourism is an extremely resilient industry, especially in Asia... A healthy rebound is possible but we need to collaborate with the Government, stakeholders and industry players."
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