How Businesses in Singapore can Reduce Overhead Costs During the Pandemic

Singapore’s government has provided an array of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to help businesses reduce their overhead costs during the pandemic.

The government is expected to draw on S$53.7 billion (US$40 billion) from its reserves for this year and an additional S24 billion (US$17.8 billion) over the next three years to assist local companies transition into a post-pandemic business environment.

Moreover, the government has decided to delay the increase in the goods and sales tax (GST) for 2021 in addition to developing programs to assist businesses to accelerate their digital transformation.

The JSS program was launched in 2020 to offset local employees’ wages and protect jobs.

Under this scheme, the government co-funds a portion of the first S$4,600 (US$3,428) of an employee’s gross monthly wages. The co-funding varies between sectors.

Firms are classified into different tier groups (Tier 1, 2, 3, 3A, and 3B), whi…

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Thai exports Record 45.9% Growth in May

BANGKOK (NNT) – The Commerce Ministry reported on Thursday (24 June) that Thai exports recorded their fastest expansion in 11 years during May, driven by strong global demand and economic recovery in trading partners, as the government continues aggressive promotion efforts.

Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanavisit said exports jumped by 45.9% in May, after a 25.7% growth in April and a 12% rise in March, and are maintaining a healthy growth momentum. The expansion was partly attributed to the ministry’s export promotion plans this year, in addition to the robust global economic recovery, especially in the manufacturing sector

Outbound shipments earned more than 20 billion USD for the fourth consecutive month and recorded the highest growth rate since June 2010. Products recording strong growth in May included agricultural and food products, such as cassava products, rubber, vegetables and fruit, fresh, chilled and frozen chicken, palm oil, beverag…

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Thai Government Plans to Increase 2022 Investment Budget by 90 Billion baht ($2.84 bln)

BANGKOK (NNT) – The Budget Bureau notes that the Thai government plans to increase its investment budget by 90 billion baht in the fiscal year 2022, in compliance with a law related to state financial and fiscal discipline.

Budget Bureau Director Dechapiwat Na Songkhla said, of the 90 billion baht the government plans to add to the 2022 investment budget, 50-60 billion is from the 500-billion-baht emergency loan. The remainder comes from the 2022 investment budget of state agencies and enterprises.

According to the 2022 fiscal budget bill, which has public spending set at 3.1 trillion baht, accounting for 17.9% of GDP, the government would need to borrow 700 billion baht to offset the deficit.

However, the bill set the investment budget at only 624 billion baht, lower than the deficit of 700 billion. This means the government would have to raise the investment budget to more than 700 billion baht, to comply with the 2018 law governing…

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Thai Government Orders 20 Million Doses of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine

BANGKOK (NNT) – The Public Health Ministry announced that the government has approved the order for 20 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

The ministry will have a month to negotiate with Pfizer, while the company must send documents to register the vaccine with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said Department of Disease Control Director-General Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong has signed a contract to buy the Pfizer vaccine for delivery this year.

He added that the government has already received approval from the Office of the Attorney-General for the procurement of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Meanwhile, Public Health Ministry Permanent Secretary, Dr. Kiattiphum Wongrajit, said a million more doses of the Sinovac vaccine arrived in Thailand yesterday, bringing the total to 7.5 million, but they must be tested by the FDA and the documents inspected by the Depar…

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China’s new three-child policy highlights risks of aging across emerging Asia

Population aging in China (A1 stable) and other emerging markets in Asia will hurt economic growth, competitiveness and fiscal revenue, unless productivity gains accelerate, according to a new report by Moody’s Investors Service.

And although China’s new policy allowing couples to have up to three children could support fertility, it is unlikely to dramatically change the national birthrate, meaning that aging will remain a credit-negative constraint.

Shrinking workforces could dampen rapid GDP growth and hurt fiscal revenue in China, Thailand and other economiesIn China’s case, productivity gains may lessen the credit-negative impact of demographic changes

Thailand’s (Baa1 stable) total dependency ratio is set to jump nine percentage points to 51% by 2030 – a faster increase than China’s – which will pressure public and private savings through higher taxes and social spending, reducing innovation and productivity gai…

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Asia Pacific: Recovery delayed but not derailed

The ASEAN-6 economies have experienced a surge in Covid-19 cases since the start of 2021, which has led to the reinstatement of social distancing measures.

Thailand has recorded over 120,000 cases since April against less than 7,000 in all of 2020. At the other end of the spectrum Singapore and Vietnam averaged 5 and 1.1 per million new cases a day in May, which is still very low regionally and globally. In the case

This has dimmed, but not derailed the regional economic recovery; we have lowered our 2021 GDP growth forecast to 4.9% (from 5.5% previously). Our forecast is for growth to improve to 6.5% in 2022 as countries move closer to herd immunity and the recovery becomes more synchronised across sectors.

After being lauded for their successful containment of Covid-19 in 2020, the ASEAN-6 economies have experienced a surge in cases since the start of the year.

New daily cases in Malaysia are currently above the peak reached d…

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How the “four M’s” underpin a bright Asian future

For a look into the future of the global economy, and where the power is shifting, consider technology developments in both China and India.,

In a mere decade, China’s e-commerce market has grown from less than 1% of global sales, into the world’s largest market in 2016, representing more than 40% of transactions by value. Platforms such as Alibaba and JD.com reach nearly a billion eager shoppers, in a market three times bigger than the US’. 

Meanwhile, India’s adoption of mobile technologies is surging at an astonishing rate as Reliance Jio – which became India’s dominant tech firm virtually overnight – brings fast connections to India’s 1.3 billion people. Even as Covid-19 spread, Google and Facebook separately invested billions in this telecoms company (a highly unusual step for rival tech giants) amid projections it would hit 500 million subscribers by 2023. 

Events in the world’s two most populous nations capture the dynamic …

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Bank of Thailand adds new measures to support post-COVID-19 recovery

BANGKOK (NNT) – The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has added measures for retail loan restructuring, as part of its third phase of debt relief for individual borrowers, aiming to ease hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to BoT deputy governor Ronadol Numnonda, the new measures, implemented on 4 May, will allow vehicle hire-purchase loans and car title loan borrowers, including motorcycle owners, to return their vehicles to creditors if they cannot repay debt because of the outbreak.

If a vehicle is returned and borrowers still owe a balance, the central bank asked financial institutions to help restructure the remaining debt on a case-by-case basis. The financial institutions include commercial banks, specialized financial institutions and non-bank companies.

The measures also offer additional options for longer loan extensions and lower interest rates than the second phase. For mortgage borrowers, the central bank allows rep…

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Trust is More Important Than Love

Once we lose trust, relationship is impossible. We can compromise it, and stick around for the ride but the truth is, once trust is gone, love can't flow.

In business, as has been proven over and over, people can't be trusted. Leave an employee near an open computer and they'll connect to the internet and waste time. Accuse them and they'll scream like you just shot them in the foot. Interesting isn't it.

To be accused of untrustworthiness is one of the most sensitive insults you can hand another person. People can, and will, lie through their teeth about things that have breeched trust.

The Ancient laws of nature predict this clearly. They suggest that we have within us, 7 levels of mind. The lowest of these exists in everyone, as well as the highest. That lowest mind is a devil in disguise. And cannot be trusted, in anyone.

The lowest mind functions on instinct. Many people are living in this level of mind. We call it survival instinct but there's a…

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