At the time of writing of this article, Singapore is the 2nd best nation and the top Asian nation, in terms of ‘ease of doing business’, globally.
If you do a quick search in Google of the titled question, you will find numerous articles on the subject. In fact, here’s a quick tip – always remember to sort the articles by ‘time’ to ensure you always get the latest and greatest iterations on this topic.
There is a reason (in fact, numerous reasons), why Singapore is such a great place to do business. There are some key factors that we love and would like to highlight. So without further ado, let us move onward and contribute to the ‘community’ of articles that explain why Singapore is the best place in Asia to do business!E
Pro-Business Economy and Government Policies
As a free market economy, Singapore and its various government bodies have in place a variety of policies and tools that assist businesses to start and/or grow. Some of these include tax exemptions for new companies, safe spaces for companies to experiment and/or innovate, and numerous grants to help businesses get up and off the ground.
You can refer to this article for a good starter guide to all the important things you need to consider before starting a business in Singapore.
Top Marks in Rule of Law and Corruption Perception Studies
Singapore did very well in two 2017-2018 studies on the rule of law and the perception of corruption across countries worldwide. The republic ranked 13th globally for the rule of law, and was the top Asian nation in the 2017 – 2018 Rule of Law Index compiled by the World Justice Project. It was also the only Asian nation in the top 10 least corrupt nations study conducted by Transparency International, coming in 6th out of 180 nations studied.
These are testaments to the business-positive environment that offers opportunity and protection to businesses as well as the environment that allows business owners to work, live and build a life in Singapore.e
Singapore’s Secret To Regional And International Connectivity
There is no question that Singapore is a regional hub that connects everyone easily to the rest of Southeast Asia and the greater Asia-Pacific nations. Cities like Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jakarta, Hong Kong, etc. are all less than six hours away via plane.
However, a secret of Singapore that is not highlighted often is the intense ‘incoming’ traffic that the country brings in via its Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) efforts. The city-state has enjoyed a good global reputation of being the go-to place to hold MICE events and has won top accolades over the years. On top of travelling out of Singapore to meet potential prospects, business owners should take advantage of the business prospects that have been brought to them via the intense MICE initiatives courtesy of the Singapore Tourism Board.
Funding the Future
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of starting a business in Singapore is the government’s recently announced commitment to its business community. In the Singapore Budget 2018, various initiatives for helping businesses to manage costs, supporting the use of technology and innovation initiatives to improve business, as well as pave the way for new, industry-specific developments were announced.
These initiatives will give business owners more options to plan, customize and create their own unique combinations of grants, government-led initiatives and business strategies that will work best for achieving their business goals.
There are a total of 220,100 companies registered in Singapore. The majority (99%) are SMEs. SMEs are companies with operating receipts of not more than S$100 million or employs less than 200 employees. In 2017, the total value add to the GDP of Singapore was S$402.7B and SMEs contributed 49% of this amount. That is almost equal to the contribution by the MNCs and other non-SME companies to our national economy.
Surprisingly, the major contributors to this value add to the GDP were foreign-owned companies (57%). These are companies with less than 50% local equity which entails that on the whole, foreign companies that setup up here in Singapore are outpacing local companies.
Singapore is well positioned and poised for numerous business development opportunities and business owners who are looking for a place to start business in Asia should seriously consider it.