SBF says productivity growth target of 2-3% too high

The Singapore Business Federation, or SBF, says the 2 to 3 per cent annual productivity growth that Singapore is aiming for appears to be a stretch target. 

It said this in its position paper on Population, in response to an invitation by the National Population & Talent Division to give its views and suggestions on Singapore's population and related policies. 

The Paper focuses on the importance for Singapore to achieve a sustainable pool of high-quality manpower to continue driving its economy and competitiveness in the years ahead. 

SBF reasoned that developed economies usually experience slower productivity growth averaging 1 to 2 per cent. 

The Paper calls for a more realistic target in consideration of current constraints of an older workforce and the lower rate of workforce growth.

It also wants a roadmap on how the economy can be restructured for the best utilisation of resources to achieve sustained inclusive growth.

The paper also called for the government to introduce incentives for employers to adopt flexible work arrangements, as well as tax breaks for companies when their female employees go on maternity leave. 

It also wants the government to provide better childcare support through provision of conveniently located, good quality and affordable childcare centres for infants and young children.