According to a business outlook survey conducted by global accountant associations, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), businesses in Singapore are very pessimistic with 66% expressing negativity over their prospects as compared to only 44% globally.
You may view the report here.
Like Hongkong, Singapore businesses are highly dependent on China and the financial crisis in China has caused spilled-over effects on Singapore. 65% of the businesses in Singapore reported a drop in profits in Q4 2015, while 38% said orders are falling as compared to 25% globally.
Although the economy has gone into recession, the Singapore government has neither responded to nor even acknowledged the downturn. Education Minister Ong Ye Kun expressed optimism claiming that Singapore has growth potential for the IT and aviation sector, however he stopped short of explaining what opportunities are there. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong painted a rosy-tinted picture saying that it is a good time for Singaporeans to invest in training to improve employment opportunities, but side-stepped the answering to the issue of rising unemployment rate and diminishing opportunities.
Singapore’s manufacturing sector has been hit by an exodus of multi-national companies like Subsea 7 and Coca Cola, which have both relocated to Malaysia with cheap wages and non-existent employment rights. Malaysia raised it’s competitiveness by agreeing to import 1.5 million more Bangladesh workers in the next 3 years, while economies in the South East Asian region which have seen improved education standards like Indonesia are also aggressively wooing foreign investments.