Singapore

Our Navigator research provides you with valuable insights and opinions from businesses around the world. As part of that research, we asked more than 10,000 business decision-makers across 39 markets, countries and territories to tell us how the current crisis has affected them and changed their plans for the near to mid-term future.

Introduction

Singapore’s ‘circuit breaker’ flattened the COVID-19 curve, but at the cost of a record fall in GDP and a technical recession. Since this was lifted in June, the economy has experienced relative domestic recovery, underpinned by one of the region’s most assertive fiscal policy responses. Its growth outlook also remains bright by regional standards: while the economy will contract sharply this year, and sectors such as aviation and tourism will struggle, the manufacturing sector should drive growth thanks to the country’s large electronics and biopharmaceutical industries.

Overview

Singapore responds to post-COVID challenges with innovation, agility and financial prudence

It’s been a tough year for businesses in Singapore. Although two-thirds are adapting to the new environment, Singapore's open and trade-dependent economy means they're more pessimistic about 2021 than businesses globally. That said, they are proving more agile in adapting to change.

The biggest concern is a resurgence of COVID-19. In response, companies are becoming more entrepreneurial through improved financial management, resilience, innovation and customer acquisition. Yet despite the headwinds they face, Singapore businesses aim to expand international trade. Intra-regional trade dominates, with more than eight in ten (81%) businesses trading within APAC. Trade with leading partner mainland China has grown, as it has with Malaysia.

To overcome their challenges, businesses are looking to build digital into their supply chains for future resilience. Around three-quarters are also working towards ESG targets, with nearly half expecting a greater focus on sustainability to deliver sales growth of up to 5%.

Current status of business

Singapore Global
Surviving day-to-day 16% 19%
Adapting to a changing environment 66% 58%
Thriving in the new normal 19% 24%