New laws in Singapore imposing restrictions on foreign workers have sparked some concern about a rise in labor costs among small and medium-sized businesses.
According to the Association of Charted Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), government spending and policy was one of the topics most talked about by businesses in Malaysia, Singapore and Pakistan in a quarterly survey of global economic conditions.
"In Singapore, the comments about government policy were mainly related to the restriction on numbers of foreign workers, causing concerns that labor costs would rise, but also included positive perceptions on such things as government incentives for SMEs [small and medium enterprises]," said the report, which was published on Thursday.
Singapore announced last month that firms with more than 25 employees must advertise vacancies for jobs paying less than 12,000 Singapore dollars ($9,685) a month on a new jobs bank administered by a state agency for at least 14 days before applying for an employment pass to bring in a foreign national. The rules come into effect in August 2014.