Help for SMEs in difficult period
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be getting some assistance in Budget 2016 to help "meet some of the immediate challenges", Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said on March 4.
He acknowledged that many firms were feeling the effects of the economic slowdown.
"Our aim is to help companies to navigate through this very difficult period," said Mr Heng.
He said that it would be hard to have policy measures that target a specific industry, and that the policies would be devised to be useful across the board and help companies build longer-term competitive strengths.
Singapore is experiencing a slowdown in growth, but not a recession, he said.
The forecast for gross domestic product growth this year remains at 1 per cent to 3 per cent.
There are significant changes that are happening in the global economy, even as the global economy is slowing, he said.
"These are the changes that we cannot avoid and the more ready we are to change, adapt and respond to the very significant shifts around us, the better we will be," said Mr Heng.
"The changes are coming quite rapidly, and there's a need for us to continue to learn new skills, to be able to cope with change – whether it's new skills related to what we're doing today or new skills to allow us to get into a new industry," said Mr Heng.