Interest in doing business in Asia has risen exponentially over the years, and for good reason. Not only is Asia home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world,, but it is also a continent with some of the biggest consumer markets globally. Many countries throughout the region, among them China, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia, have experienced unprecedented heights of economic growth and technological innovation. Business experts now predict that in the next decade, Asia will drive the bulk of global demand for consumer goods.
In the midst of Asia’s meteoric rise to economic prominence, the island city-state of Singapore stands out as the region’s best business destination. Singapore’s hospitability to foreign investment, highly business-friendly environment, commitment to the rule of law, and political stability attract investors and entrepreneurs from all over the world. The country now boasts a large, vibrant business ecosystem composed of multinational companies, local businesses, and innovative start-up enterprises.
In a region full of thriving business and innovation hotspots, what makes Singapore the best of the best? Entrepreneurs and business leaders looking to incorporate or establish an enterprise in Asia would be wise to choose Singapore for the following reasons:
Generous Government Incentives
Attracting foreign investment and encouraging entrepreneurship have long been among the Singapore Government’s major priorities when it comes to economic policy. Over the last three years, the government has invested around SGD 8.3 billion to this end, with SGD 300 million invested specifically in deep tech startups. The state also has measures in place to absorb up to 70% of bank loan risk for new businesses in operation for less than five years.
The government offers a wealth of grants for business Singapore-based enterprises can apply for to support their operations, as well as tax breaks and other incentives for qualified companies. Besides providing monetary support, the government also operates a large number of well-outfitted testing facilities, laboratories, and regulatory sandboxes. Partner companies can use these facilities to develop new innovations in controlled environments with minimal risk.
Quick and Easy Setup Process
Many international organisations have recognised Singapore as one of the easiest places to do business. Starting a company in the country requires a relatively low amount of issued capital, and business registration and setup fees are likewise inexpensive. Moreover, Singapore’s business setup regulations and procedures are counted among the most efficient and transparent systems both in the region and in the entire world.
Entrepreneurs can complete all of Singapore’s setup processes digitally in a matter of just a few working days. They can also look forward to similarly simple and straightforward regulatory mandates that will make compliance efforts much easier than in other jurisdictions.
Highly Skilled Workforce
Singaporean educational institutions are among the most top-ranked in the world for the quality of their education and of the research they produce. Notably, Singapore has received copious recognition for its considerable investments in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, which are fertile areas of expertise for budding entrepreneurs. Singaporean students are taught to strive for a high standard of excellence in their work no matter their chosen fields, and many continue to apply this attitude consistently in their professional endeavours.
Employers in Singapore also enjoy the privilege of tapping into an extensive and diverse pool of international talent due to the country’s highly inclusive immigration policies. Work visas and permanent residence (PR) status are relatively easy for foreign professionals to apply for, and expatriates can also secure the requisite permits for their immediate families with ease. As a result of these policies, Singapore is today known as one of the best destinations in Asia for expats, with expatriate labor accounting for almost a third of its present workforce.
Excellent Connectivity by Sea and Air
Located in the heart of Asia, Singapore is widely regarded as a strategic gateway into the region. Many of the world’s major shipping and trade routes pass through the city-state, which doubtless boosts its appeal to foreign investors and entrepreneurs considering relocating there. From the shores of Singapore, one can travel easily throughout Southeast Asia, Oceania, and even beyond.
Singapore’s superior infrastructure and transportation also help facilitate easy travel into and out of the country. The Port of Singapore, for instance, is currently the largest transshipment hub and the second largest port in the world, with connections to 600 ports in more than 120 countries. The world-famous Changi Airport, meanwhile, is considered one of the best airports in the world due to its efficiency, cleanliness, quality customer service, and a number of other factors.
Thriving Innovation Scene
Over time, Singapore has developed into an ideal environment for companies looking specifically to develop innovative products and solutions. The country’s diverse business ecosystem and generous investments in science and technology have made it one of the world’s foremost innovation hotspots. Spaces such as business parks, R&D labs and innovation centres are numerous and accessible throughout Singapore, making it easy for businesses to connect and collaborate.
For businesses looking to establish operations in and expand into Asia, there’s no better destination than Singapore. This island nation’s vast financial resources and highly inclusive business environment have something to offer any company, regardless of its size or industry.