Singapore’s strengths as a business hub
Published on: Nov 7, 2019
Despite a global slowdown in trade, Singapore is still attracting some of the world’s largest and best-known companies to its shores.
Its strategic location in Southeast Asia helps as does its educated local population and openness to foreign talent. Over the past 30 years the country has led ASEAN in GDP growth despite lacking the natural resources that its neighbours possess. Here are three reasons why:
- Company incorporation – Singapore is regularly ranked top or near the top of the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business List and for good reason. Setting up a business in Singapore is easy, quick and efficient for the vast majority of businesses and industries. The process is digitised and for simple company structures it takes just a few steps to set up including choosing the business structure (Private Limited, Sole-proprietorship etc) and registering the business, with minimal fees involved. Foreigners are able to set up a business though they are required to have an existing visa, or should apply for an EntrePass visa
- Foreign investment – according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), foreign direct investments (FDI) flowing into Singapore jumped from US$62 billion in 2017 to an estimated US$77 billion in 2018. Foreign direct investments from the US to Singapore alone hit over $244 billion this year. Multinational corporations are continuing to come to Singapore and making it their regional home including Facebook, Dyson and other global brands. The high-quality business environment, political stability, low taxes and world-class infrastructure (including its airport and ports) all contribute to growing investment into Singapore
- Ideal springboard – while Singapore’s domestic market is valuable in itself, most firms use Singapore as a base from which they can expand into other Asian markets. The demographic and ethnic make-up of Singapore make it a good test-bed for consumer-facing firms wishing to trial products before expanding into the region. The high quality of life in Singapore makes it easier to hire for senior regional managers who can base themselves here while travelling regularly to other markets. Geographical proximity also makes Singapore a good location from which to manage Asian markets
As ASEAN begins to become more aligned and integrated Singapore will start to benefit further and more firms will set up their regional headquarters in the City State. The concentration of professional services firms will also make it easier for these firms to set up in Singapore and grow into other markets. Furthermore, Singapore is positioning itself as a hub for the economy of the future, attracting companies and talent from companies in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Internet of Things, FinTech and other deep tech areas. This will position Singapore well as a place for long-term growth.
For more information on how to set up your business in Singapore and beyond, contact Alpadis Group here