Singapore has been consistently regarded as a leading global city in Southeast Asia. Nestled right in the middle of developing countries, it is one of the original Four Asian Tigers alongside Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan.
Considered as a cultural melting pot, the Republic of Singapore has a lot to offer to the international community not only because of its colorful and multifaceted culture but also because of its economic and political stability that attracts investors and entrepreneurs from all over the world.
If you have plans of starting a business in Singapore, we have rounded up all major factors that make Singapore a strategic location for investing and setting up a company for your reference.
1. Strategic and Accessible Geographical Location
Operating a business in Singapore will enable you to access a market size of roughly 2.8 billion within a few hours flight through Changi Airport, the world’s number one airport based on the 2015 World Airport Awards.
Serving more than 54.1 million passengers every year, this world-class hub for air transportation hosts around 100 airlines that fly to and from over 320 destinations worldwide with 6,700 departures and arrivals each week.
2. World-class Transportation Hub
Situated right next to the Straits of Malacca, the Port of Singapore is the second busiest port in the world. This facility is accessed by around 200 shipping lines with access to over 600 ports in 123 countries. For the 27th time, the Port of Singapore bagged the “Best Seaport in Asia” award at the 2015 Asia Freight, Logistics, and Supply Chain Awards. In a span of one year, the port’s total cargo tonnage handled reach 580.8 million tons last 2014.
3. Business-friendly Environment
Taking pride on its thriving business community and well-diversified economy, Singapore is geared to withstand economic storms that may arise in the future. Furthermore, Singapore topped the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report in 2015.
Ranking well in terms of ease of doing business translates into having a business regulatory environment that makes starting and operating a firm virtually hassle-free for entrepreneurs. Singapore company incorporation takes roughly a day if all requirements are complete—a very fast turnaround time compared to other countries.
4. Attractive Tax System and Policies
The Singapore government is known for constantly adopting pro-business policies, regardless of global economic situations or crises. In setting up a company, considering tax structures is among the top agendas of any entrepreneur.
Having low rates on both personal and corporate tax makes the country appealing to businessmen and seasoned professionals alike. Tiered income tax goes only up to 20% for individuals with income above $320,000 in Singapore. The corporate tax rate for companies with $300,000 in profit and below is pegged at 8.5%, with a 17% cap for companies with profits more than $300,000.
Moreover, capital gains taxes are not enforced in Singapore, making dividends tax-free for shareholders.
5. Reputable Governance and Strong Legal Infrastructure
In order to flourish and prosper, businesses also need to be backed by a strong political infrastructure. With a stable and orderly system, the Singapore government strongly reinforces its commitment to building a world-class financial hub.
Transparency International’s 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index lauds Singapore as the 7th least corrupt country in the world, making the island-state the most politically stable country in Asia in 2014.
To further complement the country’s reputable governance, Singapore has strong international arbitration practitioner base and international law firm offices. The World Bank Investing Across Borders study further states that Singapore has the best framework for arbitration of commercial disputes in Asia.
6. Skilled Workforce
Singapore attracts not only business moguls but also seasoned and experienced professionals from all over the world. Due to its cultural diversity and knowledge-based economy, the country succeeded in building a productive and highly-skilled workforce. Professionals moving to Singapore bring with them business expertise and knowledge gained from work experiences all over the world.
In a nutshell, the Republic of Singapore has developed a robust economy with strong fundamentals that provide investors with a lucrative channel to pursue their business ventures. The stability of Singapore’s economy and business environment aided in attracting more than 7,000 multinational companies to do business in the country which in turn, provides an endless array of cultural and educational opportunities to the international community.