Placed in the middle of South East Asia, located on one of the busiest shipping routes in the world, Singapore is a large diamond shaped island with around fifty smaller inlets. A vibrant city-state in which one in six households occupy a millionaire, Singapore shows that business is big and growth is unlikely to slow down. Once a colonial outpost of Britain utilised for both the India-China and the entrepôt trade in South East Asia, Singapore embarked on a modernisation programme in the late 1960’s focussing on establishing manufacturing, public housing and education.
With it being one of only nine countries accredited an AAA rating from all major financial creditors; Singapore is the jewel in the global crown of commerce. It’s regarded as a very sound investment location and was named as the easiest place to start, run and do business by the World Bank in 2007.
A safe investment
So far, so good, you say? Indeed it seems that way. With its import rates of goods and services expected to rise to 7.4% by 2016 (from 3.2% in 2012) and steady growth of around a healthy 5%, there has never been a better time to invest into the country. Take Milind Soman, CEO of Lumiere Business Solutions Pte Ltd, a marketing research and consulting firm that works with clients providing marketing research solutions, who decided to set up a South East Asia division in Singapore in 2012. He says”[Singapore] itself serves as one of the safest economies to set up a business” with him commenting on ‘advanced infrastructures for businesses, liberalised trade and investment and a strategic location to all emerging markets’ as the main reasons for choosing to locate there.
Links between the UK and Singapore
The DIT supports investment into Singapore too, promoting UK businesses to make the leap and invest into the country, either through FDI, exporting or using Singapore as a processing hub to export elsewhere. On the 15th April the DIT held a regional hub event in Manchester to advertise the benefits of setting up in the state, to would-be exporters and foreign direct investors.
The event showcased the wealth of opportunities associated with doing business in Singapore and the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) region, including talks from guest speakers from the head of Foreign Direct Investment Advisory South East Asia – United Overseas Bank, Cheo Yong Sai and representatives from global giants such as Santander UK and Mazars.
The event was set up to help exporters understand the market of Singapore before entering, offering expert advice to firms thinking of growing in the Singapore area. As with all international trade, utilising experts in their respective fields is crucial. Talk to us about the language and cultural aspects of doing business in Singapore.
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