Over the last decade, as global businesses have followed the Look East policy, Singapore has emerged as the gateway to ASEAN and wider Asia, both for established top multinationals and high growth start-ups. The small island nation is a draw because of its transparent legal framework and economic and political stability. It has become a global financial hub and an Asian tiger. Diverse industries flourishing in Singapore include chemicals, biomedical sciences, petroleum refining, mechanical engineering and electronics; the city state also boasts deep capital markets, leading insurance and wealth management players.
Singapore has transformed its economy despite the disadvantages of limited land and resources. It has deep capital markets and is a leading insurance and wealth management marketplace. A disciplined, efficient and multi-cultural and diverse workforce is another advantage.
Singapore consistently ranks at the top of ease of doing business indices. It was placed second in the World Bank’s 2020 ranking, citing clear and consistent policies and a robust judicial system, aided by being an acknowledged arbitration centre with low corruption. English is widely spoken and is the official business language – yet Mandarin too is widely used which is an advantage for those focused on the China market.
As south-east Asia rises as an economic power, Singapore will attract more and more top corporates seeking to leverage and deepen their regional presence. From large MNCs looking to set up their headquarters to companies in sectors such as technology, energy, aerospace and pharma, focused on R&D – Singapore attracts ‘queen bee’ entities which in turn feed value-adding local manufacturing and service providers.
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