There are many reasons why Singapore is perfectly capable of dominating the Southeast Asia region for the next decade. While none of the factors may seem like a total game changer on their own, taken together they show that businesses looking to expand may want to seriously consider Singapore. Don’t believe us? Keep reading:
Singapore is ideally situated at the middle of one of the main shipping and trade routes of the world. There are over 3 billion people within an easy plane flight of the island nation. Singapore’s Changi Airport is one of the busiest in the world with flights taking off or landing about every 80 seconds. This award-winning airport has won more than 26 best of awards in 2017 alone. Over 2,125,226 tonnes of cargo went through the airport that is located only about six miles from the main business core in 2017. The seaport consistently is one of the busiest in the world. The World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index has named this seaport at the top of its list numerous times. Added together, it is easy to see why Singapore consistently ranks in the top five for its transport services.
The government of Singapore has long been noted by experts as being pro-business. Most businesses find that they can clear governmental red tape in under six days. Foreign companies wanting to do business in the island nation only need to appoint two local representatives before they can open up for business. The judicial system is highly efficient, and it does a great job of protecting intellectual property rights. According to the World Economic Forum’s Enabling Trade Index, Singapore has topped the list since 2011. One of the reasons that Singapore consistently places high is that 99.7 percent of all products shipped into the country enter duty-free. Its border clearance procedure consistently has been cited for being efficient, predictable and timely.
Despite the fact that the government has a strong reputation for supporting businesses, it is constantly looking to make it even easier. The World Bank’s Doing Business report says that Singapore is the best place in the world to operate a business. While it has finished in this position many times, in the last year, Singapore has implemented several reforms to make it an even better place. Getting construction permits is now easier than it was in 2016 as is getting electrical services. Furthermore, the country’s government has become even more tax friendly and made it easier to trade across borders.
Singapore has a very experienced workforce compared to many other countries. About 33 percent of Singapore’s workforce was born outside the country, and it still remains easy to attract foreign talent to jobs in the island nation. The Ministry for Trade and Industry has developed a program to help people get trained in many traditional building skills. The Ministry of Education has a program to help people transition from one job to another. Few countries make it as easy for people with certain skills to move to Singapore. The country has also given corporations breaks when skills were lacking in the local workforce to bring in people from foreign countries to train the workforce. There are very few governments in the world who are as committed to seeing people get the jobs that they want so that they can have a higher quality of life.
Singapore embraces businesses moving to the island nation by charging them very little in taxes. Unlike many governments, foreign investors find a level playing field in Singapore. The top corporate tax rate in the country is 17 percent. Many companies qualify for Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) Scheme allowing them to pay no corporate taxes. Additionally, the country does not charge corporations any taxes on money that has been taxed by at least 15 percent aboard. Many businesses also qualify for a partial tax exemption. Therefore, the average corporation with a chargeable income of $1 million Singaporean dollars usually pays just 12.90 percent and those with a chargeable income of $5 million Singaporean usually pays an effective tax rate of 16.18 percent.
Singapore makes it easy for people who want to start a business to immigrate to the country. The country’s immigration investor program allows business professionals to immigrate freely into the country as long as they agree to invest $2.5 million Singaporean into starting or expanding a business. The person must show that they have a business background that is likely to make them successful, and they have six months to make the investment. Alternatively, a person can immigrate to the island nation if they deposit $5 million Singaporean in an approved financial institution. If the person lives there for two years without any problems, then they become eligible to become a permanent citizen. Note, however, that the law does not allow for dual citizenship, so immigrants have to forego their citizenship in any previous country.
The country enjoys a very diverse economy. Approximately 22 percent of all jobs in the county are in manufacturing with electronics and precision engineering leading the way. There are over 200 banks and financial institutions. Medical technology, healthcare, content development, aerospace engineering and renewable energy are all present in this island nation’s economy. While many economies went down in 1997 and 2008, Singapore saw only a minor bump in its economic conditions because of the vast diversity.
If you are thinking of moving your business to Singapore or opening a new one in that location, then there are many terrific reasons to go ahead with your plan. Many policies are in place to already promote business, there is a trained workforce available, and it’s an investor hotbed. So what are you waiting for? Get started on the next phase of your plan, because chances are that your will be highly successful in this place that is called the Gateway to Asia.
Loved this article? Here are some other pieces you might like to read next: