The Week in Retrospect [May 4 – 10]

This edition of The Week in Retrospect saw new scheme to help SMEs, a pessimistic business sentiment in Singapore, a decreasing unemployment rate and growing islands in South China Sea.

New scheme to help SMEs comply with PDPA: The Law Society of Singapore has introduced a new Personal Data Protect Act (PDPA) Legal Advice scheme for SMEs, in collaboration with the Personal Data Protection Commission. At a fixed charge, SMEs will be able to assess their compliance with PDPA and seek advice on possible next steps. The scheme will take effect from June 2015.

Singapore business sentiment remains pessimistic: According to the latest Business Times-UniSIM Business Climate Survey, 52% companies expect business prospects to worsen year-on-year. This marks a 50% increase from the previous quarter’s result and the highest in more than two years.

Unemployment rate down but employment rate slowing in Singapore: Latest report from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) shows that unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2015 dropped to 1.8% from 1.9% in December 2014. However, employment rate is slowing with 2.9% growth in March 2015. MOM said these are early signs of the slowing growth of the local labour supply and a tight labour market with vacancies outnumbering jobseekers.

China accelerates land reclamation in South China Sea: A new report from the Pentagon said that China has added extensive amounts of land to bolster its civil and military presence in South China Sea. The total acreage in the 5 outposts in Spartly Islands increases from 500 in December to 2014 in March 2015, fuelling the political tensions with other claimants in the region.

Alibaba posted strong results as mobile commerce surges: Alibaba announced a 45% increase of quarterly revenue in its fiscal fourth quarter. The revenue growth is greatly driven by shopping on mobile devices as mobile transactions surpass those from personal computers for the first time.

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