TL;DR

Who: IMF, Manufacturing sector, Josephine Teo

Weekly Business Brief | 2019 Week 30

Wrapping up the week's business news and announcements.

Weekly Business Brief
Published:   |   Updated:   |   Posted in

IMF downgrades world growth, warns of ‘precarious’ 2020

The IMF cautioned that there are an abundance of “potential triggers” for the situation to turn negative quickly…

Global trade tensions, continued uncertainty and rising prospects for a no-deal Brexit are sapping the strength of the world economy, which faces a “precarious” 2020, the International Monetary Fund warned on Tuesday (Jul 23).

Trade conflicts are undercutting investment and weakening manufacturing, and the IMF urged countries to avoid using tariffs to resolve their differences.

“Global growth is sluggish and precarious, but it does not have to be this way, because some of this is self-inflicted,” IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath told reporters.

The IMF cautioned that there are an abundance of “potential triggers” for the situation to turn negative quickly, including the possibility of more US tariffs on China or on European autos, as well as a no-deal Brexit and the high debt levels in many countries.

Read more in this Channel NewsAsia report.

Bearing brunt of trade war, Singapore chipmakers cut jobs

… the export-driven economy could slide into recession in the coming months.

Caught between a Sino-US trade war, political concerns over Chinese telecoms firm Huawei and slowing consumer demand, chipmakers in Singapore have started slowing production and laying off hundreds of jobs, firms told Reuters.

The slump in a sector that made up nearly a third of Singapore’s manufacturing output last year is reinforcing expectations that the export-driven economy could slide into recession in the coming months.

John Nelson, CEO of UTAC, a Singapore headquartered firm which tests and assembles chips, told Reuters he had started a “consolidation process” in Singapore which may result in a 10-20 per cent headcount reduction in the city-state by year end.

Read more in this Channel NewsAsia report.

Accountants have critical role in helping businesses fight cybercrime: Josephine Teo

“What does this tell us? It tells us that in the age of digitalisation, businesses still need accountants,” said the minister.

Forensic accounting, digital forensics and financial crime compliance are critical skills for accountants in combating cybercrime, Mrs Teo highlighted at the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) forensics and cybersecurity conference.

“In recent times, the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) has seen cases where complainants, people who have approached CAD to report cases, these complainants observed financial irregularities, but they were not fully able to make sense of these irregularities,” said Mrs Teo, who is also Manpower Minister.

This changed only when audit or accounting firms came in to perform forensic accounting and digital forensics, which then led to firms being able to take action to strengthen their cyber defenses, she added.

“What does this tell us? It tells us that in the age of digitalisation, businesses still need accountants,” said the minister.

“You can be much more useful by stepping beyond traditional roles to help your clients combat cybercrime.”

Read more in this Channel NewsAsia report.


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