Sunday, March 3, 2024
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Hawker centres key to sustainable growth

With a huge deficit logged by the Sultanate in the 2020/2021 fiscal year, it would be highly incumbent for the authorities to make serious adjustments to its public spending.

While austerity would be the default strategy, it is a highly disadvantageous move, given that there are certain investments that have to be made to ensure the economy is back on a growth path.

Among the high-impact investments is the construction of hawker centres in public housing areas (RPN), which is a propellant of growth in the food and beverage (F&B) industry. Not only will these centres generate economic activities and employment opportunities, the revenues received in the form of rent will also bolster the public sector’s fiscal position. As such, all RPN master plans should prioritise hawker centres as the engine of growth.

Singapore has long recognised the importance of hawker centres for its economy. As of 2014, the city state had 107 hawker centres, which housed some 15,000 stalls. Located strategically near public housing zones or transportation hubs, hawker centres have generated sustainable economic gains for low- and medium-income families specialising in the F&B business.

We don’t need to reinvent the wheel; all we need is to follow best practices from abroad to ensure we’re on the right track to sustainable growth.

Mr Economist

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