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Experts Say Singapore’s Development Into A Global Financial Hub Will Drive Growth Into Economy

With plans of transforming Singapore into a global financial hub, Singapore is seen to grow at a 6.4% compound annual rate (CAR) during the five-year period between 2009 and 2014.

The Asia-Pacific accountancy market has generated an average of USD 30.8 million every year and is forecasted to increase to 38.3 billion by 2013. Based on the data released by the Accounting Regulatory and Corporate Authority of Singapore, the country shared only 2.8% of the revenues to the accountancy market as opposed to major contributors such as Australia, India, and China.

Singapore’s accountancy market accounts for USD 862.4 million, only 0.47% of its GDP. As part of the Singapore Government, Economic Strategies Committee, and Committee to Develop the Accountancy Sector’s economic blueprint, Singapore is set to transform into Asia’s leading global financial and business hub in the year 2020.

The economic blueprint, specifically, aims to increase the GDP share of the accountancy market from 0.47% to 1% in the next ten years just like that of the United Kingdom and Australia.

Mr. Bobby Chin Yoke Choong, chairman of the Pro-Tem Singapore Accountancy Council, questions the likelihood of carrying out the accountancy market expansion measures in a forum hosted by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore. Citing reports from the Data Monitor group industry profile research, Choong doubts whether the accountancy sector can keep up with the regional demand for finance service professionals, as the country produces only 1,000 accountancy graduates annually. 60% of these graduates end up working for the Big-4 entities, and half of them end up resigning from such entities.

Choong, however, enthused that by taking advantage of Singapore’s viable reputation as a business-friendly financial destination (Singapore is home to over 7,000 multi-national companies), by developing partnerships between public and private accountancy entities, and by developing a standard, “single-branded” and globally-recognized accountancy qualification program, it won’t be hard for the accountancy market to gain momentum.

The financial services sector is seen to fuel the Singapore economy by providing jobs to financial services and accounting professionals annually.

In a report cited by Ministry of Manpower minister, Tan Chuan-Jin, over 8,700 new Singapore employment passes have been issued to financial service specialists two years ago, more than double the passes during the past decade.