Look beyond Budget 2017 to boost growth, competitiveness

The 2017 Budget that will be unveiled tomorrow has riveted the nation’s attention more so this year than before. Not only has the use of social media greatly raised awareness and participation in the budgetary process, but the broadening of the taxpayer base through the consumption-based Goods and Services Tax (GST) has widened interest on what, why and how the revenue collected by the government should be spent.

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ASEAN at the doorstep of the fourth industrial revolution

In 1971, the renowned computer scientist Alan Kay quipped that ‘the best way to predict the future is to invent it’. Approaching half a century later, we might have wished that inventors had not taken his call to action so feverishly. Both overwhelming and inspiring at once, ours is now a world of mind-bending possibilities in robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), quantum computing, genome editing, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, energy storage, nanomaterials and neuro-technological brain enhancements. Hailed as the fourth industrial revolution, these interconnected technologies cut across physical, digital and biological boundaries, sparing no industry in its transformative wake. Transitions to new manufacturing processes of previous revolutions generally lasted 30-40 years each, from the first (steam power and mechanization) to second (electric power and mass production), and then, the third phase (digital automation) – in other words, we live in exponential times.

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