Singapore has received plenty of accolades for its business-friendly environment.
The country bagged the top spot in the Ease of Doing Business reports published by the World Bank between 2007 and 2016 and the second spot in the reports released from 2017 to 2020. More recently, the Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Ranking recognised the city-state as having the most competitive economy in Asia and the fifth most competitive economy in the world.
These international institutions use different criteria to rank the countries in their list, but they clearly acknowledge what Singapore offers entrepreneurs and companies that are looking to start or expand their operations in Southeast Asia. Here are some of the reasons why the city-state continues to be a preferred location for businesses of all sizes:
Pro-Enterprise Laws and Taxation System
First and foremost, the Singapore government is committed to building a business-friendly environment that encourages companies to set up shop in the city-state. This mission has led to the institution of laws, policies, and guidelines that help businesses maximise their chances of enjoying long-term sustainable growth. An example of this is the company tax rate Singapore businesses have to deal with. Corporate tax in Singapore is fixed at 17 per cent, and businesses can even get a 250 per cent tax deduction for expenditures that qualify under research and development. This gives R&D-focused companies every opportunity to ensure that the products and services they are working on can reach maturity. At the same time, the country has no capital gains tax and no withholding taxes on dividend payments.
Ease of Starting a Business and Accessing Funding
Starting a business in Singapore is as easy as it gets. Registering a company online here takes about 15 minutes, which is the fastest in Southeast Asia while setting up a business in the country is a process that will often only take 1.5 days. Surprisingly, the cost of starting a company in the country is also quite low, as business owners only need a minimum of SGD 315 to pay for the fees required by the process. Entrepreneurs and business owners who want to access additional funding also have plenty of options available to them in Singapore. There’s a long list of sector-specific schemes and grants here that start-ups and established businesses can use to ensure their continued growth.
Excellent Infrastructure and Logistics Hubs
Singapore is a forward-facing country, and as such, it has invested heavily in infrastructure projects that will enable it to meet the ever-changing needs of its people and its business sector. It has a world-class transportation system that’s composed of well-thought-out networks of subways, buses, and taxis, as well as strategically placed transportation hubs and pedestrian-friendly walkways. This makes it very easy for people and goods to reach any location within the city. On top of this, the country also has a central location and is served by a number of world-class transport and logistics facilities. These, in turn, make it a hassle-free experience to ship materials and goods in and out of the country.
Aside from a robust transportation system, Singapore also offers reliable high-speed internet access and a strong ecosystem of financial networks. In the coming years, the country is expected to dedicate more funding to infrastructure projects that support its sustainability goals and initiatives.
Investment in Human Capital Development
With its people being its only abundant natural resource, Singapore has placed a high level of priority on its education system, and the result of this initiative shows. The country has one of the best education systems in the world, with students frequently topping international academic events and surveys. As a result, Singapore has a well-informed and highly-educated labour pool that can lend its skills and knowledge to companies that aim to excel in the digital age. Businesses that are open to digital innovation and the disruptions that the technology will bring about will find plenty of tech-savvy and highly skilled workers in Singapore.
Great Quality of Life for Its Citizens and Residents
Singapore is not just a great place to do business, it’s also a good place to live and raise a family. The country is peaceful and has a low crime rate. It also has a strong workforce, some of the best healthcare providers in the region, and an economy that’s backed by a wide variety of industries and businesses. The people who live in Singapore, both citizens and those who have come to the country for better economic opportunities, can look forward to years of stability and continued growth.
These are just some of the practical reasons why established and start-up companies see Singapore as the most ideal venue for their business ventures and expansion plans. By bringing their companies to the country, entrepreneurs can ensure that they’ll have all the tools they need to maximise their chances of thriving in the digital age.