Expanding a Business in Singapore
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Singapore Entering the Market
Singapore is notoriously known for being the country where it is illegal to spit your chewing gum on the street. If this raises concerns regarding the amount of enjoyment to be had on the island state, you can relax. Singapore is full of restaurants and pubs and clubs and is one of Asias most enjoyable cities. People rarely complain that places are too clean, too modern and too efficient and I suspect that there would be few complaints about Singapore. A cultural mixing pot, Singapore's emergence as an economic force on the back of FDI (foreign direct investment) has seen it become a centre for business in Asia.
Why invest in Singapore?
With Singapore ranked as the number one for Ease Of Doing Business in the World Bank report, its a well regarded business destination and is seen as a prime location for accessing the South East Asian markets. With the government keen to encourage innovation and investment from foreign countries, overseas businesses registering a business in Singapore enjoy low taxation and favourable trading conditions.
The word hub is a favourite of the Singapore authorities, as they strive to make their country an innovational centre for a variety of industries and services. The UK has a strong trade relationship with Singapore. Over 700 British businesses operate in Singapore and the UK is Singapore's largest investor.
The government funded Economic Development Fund also offers financial assistance and incentives for entrepreneurs starting up a business in Singapore such as research and development support and help with intellectual property. It takes less than two weeks for a foreign worker to get an employment card and Singapore has a skilled workforce, with its workers ranked among the most productive in the world. Incorporating or licensing a business in Singapore are valuable options as well.
Main Industrial Sectors
- Advanced Engineering - Advanced or precision engineering is crucial to world manufacturing. Singapore produces about 10% of global output for refrigeration compressors, 30% of global output for hearing aids, and about 70% of wire bonders used in the semiconductor industry, making it a centre for the industry. With Singapore investing $76 million in a precision engineering manpower initiative, it clearly has intentions to remain at the forefront of the field. With manufacturing continuing to increase in markets such as China and India, Singapores advanced engineering continues to expand.
- Biomedical Sciences - Singapore has invested heavily in Biomedical Sciences with both research and the training of its workforce resulting in multinationals such as GlaxoSmithKline and Bayer being tempted to its shores. With Asia at the forefront of Biomedical Science, Singapore offers a safe and environment and the expertise needed to harness the Asian talent and technology from the local markets.
- Creative Industries - With access to Western and Asian markets, Singapores creative industries are predicted to reach $68.3billion by 2012. Singapores output includes film, music, publishing, printing, TV as well as interactive and digital media. Singapores video-games industry is highlighted as one of the key growth areas.
- Education and training - The presence of 16 leading educational institutions, such as The German Institute of Science and Technology, illustrates the importance the Singapore people place on education and its desire to be a regional education hub, offering the highest standards to the Asian education market.
- Environment and Water - Singapore committed to invest $300million over the next five years to the advancement of environmental and water technology. With the government recognizing the growing importance of the industry, Singapore wants to become a Global Hydro Hub by 2015. The government continues to invest in technology for more efficient use of water and other environmental concerns, such as waste management.
- Financial Services - Singapore has liberalized its financial legislation in an attempt to make Singapore a financial hub.
- ICT - Singapore has one of the worlds most advanced telecommunications
networks in the world. With strong growth predicted in some of the surrounding Asian markets, Singapores expertise in the field and proximity would make it an ideal gateway to access the developing market
- Oil and Gas - As the worlds third biggest export refiner, Singapore has a large energy industry. With the country keen to explore sustainable energy technologies, it is investing heavily.
Challenges foreign companies face
As the World Banks report indicates, UK businesses face few challenges in setting up a business with the Economic Development Fund offering extensive channels of support for new businesses and an open and free trading environment with low taxation and corruption. Before starting up a business in Singapore make sure you have a detailed and well researched business plan.
Organisations that can assist with Entering the Market
PEO Worldwide is an international PEO offering employer of record, payroll, employee benefits management, HR and compliance services throughout the world.
Multi-lingual Notaries to notarise, translate and legalise documents for international use
Do you need advice from an expert in your field, on the ground? Need help finding the best route to market for your product or service?
Need to register a company or setting up a company?
Sovereign offers a range of advisory and support services to assist companies of all sizes to establish successful business operations in foreign markets.
Simplified Global Payroll Companies with global employees often find that managing payroll in multiple countries is complicated - different systems, laws, and languages in each country, lack of reporting, and constantly changing laws and regulations each year. Trying to manage global payroll via fax and email with excel spreadsheets leads to data security issues, fines, and penalties for non-compliance. Blue Marble has solved global payroll challenges with cloud-based technology, aggregated reporting, and a hybrid service model in 135+ countries around the world.
Finding office space abroad poses one of the most difficult changes that many start-ups face. Location, costs, and transport all need to be considered. And, more crucially of all, what office will allow a new business to attract and retain the best staff?