Minister of State for Trade and Industry and ICPAS Adviser
Distinguished speakers and panellists
Ladies and Gentlemen
Thank you for attending the ICPAS Budget 2013 Update and its Tax Implications Seminar. I would particularly like to thank our guest of honour Minister Teo Ser Luck for gracing this event again this year, despite his very busy schedule.
I understand we have about 650 participants at today’s seminar. This is an unprecedented turnout for our budget seminar, which we hold annually. Today’s seminar on Budget 2013 is one of ICPAS’ efforts to add value to our members by equipping them with the knowledge to relate Budget 2013 policies to their lives and work. It is encouraging to see so many of you here.
Today, we are pleased to have with us once again Prof Sum Yee Loong from Singapore Management University, who will be taking us through the policies of Budget 2013, and a panel of distinguished speakers who will be exchanging their views on the topic.
As we have seen, Budget 2013 focuses on the need for continued sustainable growth, but not without considering the social aspect of building an inclusive, cohesive society. To that end, new initiatives were rolled out, including an enhanced government productivity scheme and the new Wage Credit Scheme. As reported in The Straits Times, Budget 2013 is “one of the most generous Budgets in recent years, balanced finely between helping firms raise their game and ensuring that individuals get the help they need.” According to another Straits Times report, “analysts and businesses said the Budget 2013 was generous even as it showed the Government's commitment to raising productivity. They also noted a clear shift towards giving even more help to the lower-income while taxing the rich.”
Today newspaper called it “a Budget for quality growth”, and some commentators have used the words “inclusive” and “ambitious” to describe Budget 2013.
I believe there is much room for thought-provoking dialogue and exchange of views, and our panelists will have a very interesting discussion later.
But before that, Minister Teo will be sharing more about Budget 2013 in his keynote address. It is an honour and privilege to hear from the Minister of State Trade and Industry on this pertinent topic, and I believe we are looking forward to hear his views.
Before I end off, I would like to wish everyone a fruitful and enjoyable session ahead. Thank you.