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Singapore most SME-friendly economy



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Singapore has emerged as the country with the most supportive government for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) thanks to its high level of support to smaller businesses, especially in the areas of grants and tax benefits for training.

This was the key finding of the Global SME Performance Review for 2013/1014 conducted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).

The report, which surveyed 1,598 SMEs in total, found Singapore was the country with the most consistently highest SME ratings for government responses, followed by the UAE and the UK.

“An analysis of the verbatim responses by ACCA and IMA members from businesses in Singapore on the economic developments that most affected their organisations reveals a strong theme of positive government support, particularly on providing grants and tax benefits for training purposes,” the report stated.

These findings will no doubt be welcomed by SMEs bosses, considering recent reports which identified manpower challenges as the biggest hinderance to SME growth.

SMEs in China, however, were found to be most likely to take the view that government spending would be at the right level to stimulate growth in the medium term, with 42% of respondents stating this was the case.

SMEs in the UAE (40%), Hong Kong (38%) and Singapore (37%) followed respectively.

“The SME recovery has broadly followed that of the wider real economy, but SMEs are waking up to the recovery by seizing opportunities to benefit from new developments – opportunities arising through innovation, entering new markets and building strong supplier relationships,” the report stated.

READ MORE: SME bosses expect fewer hires in 2014

Image: Shutterstock

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