Our Little Red Dot is a special place. If you’re living in Singapore, you’ve no doubt come to love its many charms: safety, quality of education, lifestyle, travel. But what about working in Singapore? Is this the right place to start a business? Many expats come here with their big-company jobs, only to then think about hanging out their own shingle. Other companies consider opening a branch or totally relocating here. Should they? The answer is a resounding yes.
Why? Because Singapore strives to be the top business hub in Asia and, as a result, has made it easy for businesses to operate here. The country offers advantageous loans for foreign investors as well as pro-business legislation. Singapore also has three free trade zones (FTZs) that provide the same opportunities for local and foreign companies. Enterprises use free trade zones for storage, repacking and export activities. Additionally, Singapore has one of the lowest corporate taxes in the region and has negotiated double tax treaties with more than 70 countries, greatly reducing the tax burden when doing business here. That’s a big deal.
Equally important, Singapore is the gateway to Asia, and very well situated to three of the world’s most important economies: China, India and Japan. But it’s more than just proximity that makes this an excellent place for companies. Singapore has grown by leaps and bounds technologically in the past few years and the infrastructure, banking system and communications network are markedly stronger than in many neighbouring countries.
It’s little wonder that Singapore’s Economic Development Board can afford to do a little bragging. As of 2018, Singapore is:
- the second most competitive economy in the world, according to the IMD Competitiveness Index;
- the second easiest country do to business in the world, according to the World Bank’s Doing Business Report;
- fourth in the world and first in Asia in terms of intellectual property protection, according to the Global Competitiveness Report issued by the World Economic Forum; and
- the first place among Asian cities for sustainability according to the Sustainable Cities Index.
Wow. You can see now why so many businesses are drawn here, not only traditional industries, but also companies in areas such as medical tech and bio tech, precision engineering, the media, logistics, the environmental sector and financial technology.
While Singapore is a smart choice for business, it’s also a great place for employees. HSBC does an annual survey that looks at everything from career advancement opportunities to healthcare to quality of life. For four years running, Singapore has ranked first as the best place for expats to live and work. Add those pluses to the immigration policies and you get a strong, very international talent pool. There’s also a pool of inexpensive labour available among those who come to work in Singapore from surrounding nations. In other words, it’s easy for companies to find the people they need to make their business succeed.
Singapore truly is the total package for businesses and employees alike.
Interested in starting a business in Singapore?
Click here to find out more about the ins and outs of opening a Singapore subsidiary.
Want to learn about other places you may not have considered for potentially setting up a business?
- Read more about opportunities in the Netherlands, another important business destination.
- And learn more here about why Malta is increasingly an important destination for business today.