The issue of governments in business
Just how involved should governments be in business? And is there a right answer to this question, or a one-size-fits all conclusion?
An informative read, Government in Business: Leading or Lagging? appeals to public policymakers, finance and politics academics or students, and entrepreneurs seeking to understand the complexities of how governments operate. Through a discussion of 64 relevant case studies spanning the globe, the book would illustrate how commonplace these challenges are for governments, business operators and the public at large, regardless of state or size of the economy. Examples of collaboration would show the circumstances under which a better outcome for all stakeholders, especially the public, may be possible. Pitfalls to avoid are also identified.
The evergreen debate over government’s involvement in business continues in earnest, among all stakeholder groups – the state, the private sector and the public at large. Add to that de-globalisation, and the disruption by technology. Criticism is often levelled at a government that is slow to act or one that belatedly introduces damning regulations. Many governments are already saddled with long-term demands like infrastructural development, bulging fiscal deficits and growth inequality. However, the politics of the day are synonymous with short-termism. The Covid-19 pandemic has increased the bailout burden even more. The author attempts to provide a fair assessment of the potentially complementary roles that the public and private sectors can play in a fast changing global economy, amidst the shifting expectations of society.
Our world today is replete with examples of innovation or evolution of traditional businesses which appear to frustrate many a government. In Government in Business: Leading or Lagging?, the author Lim Hwee Hua addresses the mounting challenges confronting many policy makers in the face of private sector innovation and technology disruption, particularly the blurring of domain lines, often into regulated businesses. She provides guidance on how to collaborate in a sustainable manner, which requires a clarity of roles and discipline on the part of government.
The discussions in the book would provide useful perspectives for both regulators and the regulated. The author seeks to help the state identify and perform its multiple roles, as regulator, provider of essential services, promoter or developer of the economy and occasionally as a provider of capital. A conflation of roles, manifested as populism in many instances, should be avoided at all costs. On the flip side, understanding how the state’s different roles can often lead to unsatisfactory outcomes will help regulated business operators navigate better.
Government in Business: Leading or Lagging? retails for US$48 / £40 in paperback and US$88 / £75 in hardback at major bookstores and online. To know more about the book visit https:/
Having straddled both the public and private sectors, I write this book with two aims. The first is that of inspiring public policy formulation and execution towards market-friendliness. The second is that of motivating businesses towards a more collaborative relationship with the government, especially in areas which are being transformed by technology. The case studies serve to provide an illustration of the different scenarios that are characteristic of a highly globalised and technologically-enabled marketplace. If anything, they provide comfort that the challenges are not unique to any government or economy.
About the Author
LIM HWEE HUA retired from politics as the Singapore Second Minister for Finance and Transport in 2011 where she was heavily involved in performing the various roles of government in business. Since then, she has returned to the private sector where she continues her involvement in financial services–private equity, banking, derivatives exchange, and advises or sits on the boards of a diverse range of businesses focused on Asia. She is also the Distinguished Visiting Fellow to the National University of Singapore, at the Business School and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. She earned an MA/BA(Hons) in Mathematics/Engineering from the University of Cambridge and an MBA, major in Finance, from the Anderson School of Management, University of California at Los Angeles. Her first book Government in Business: Friend or Foe was translated into Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish.
About World Scientific Publishing Co.
Award-winning publisher World Scientific has published for local luminaries that include both former Prime Ministers Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong, former ministers and senior civil servants of the likes of George Yeo, Ho Peng Kee, Lim Siong Guan, Tommy Koh, Peter Ho, and Bilahari Kausikan, and prominent public figures like Ho Kwon Ping, Claire Chiang, Albert Hong, Liu Thai Ker, and Wang Gungwu, amongst others.
World Scientific also collaborates extensively with research institutes, universities, governmental organisations and companies locally as well as globally to publish professional, scientific, technical, medical and popular content. We publish about 600 books annually and 150 journals in various fields, with more than 200 books on Singapore. We have also established a global presence with 13 offices around the world. To find out more about World Scientific, please visit http://www.
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