How to start joint venture to succeed exports to Singapore

Export to Singapore: how to enter the market and set up distribution?

What do we know about Singaporean customers?

Singapore has a small population of 5 million people consisting of Chinese, Malay, Indian and other minority nationalities. The market in which they operate is an evolved and free one, that is transparent.

According to Singapore’s Gini Index, family income distribution in the country is at 46.4, with ‘0’ representing perfect equality and ‘100’ standing for complete inequality. Singapore’s lowest 10% of earners share 2.3% of the national income while the highest 10% enjoy 11% of it.

The average Singaporean however is known for high purchase power and demand for quality products and services.

What do people import to Singapore?

In 2018, Singapore imported goods into the country worth $366 billion. That’s a high rate of export.

Here are the nation’s top imports:

  • Machinery and equipment (includes electronics and telecommunications)
  • Pharmaceuticals and other chemicals
  • Refined Petroleum products
  • Foodstuffs and beverages

Which are Singapore’s top import partner countries (percentage of total imports)?

  • China (13.4%)
  • Malaysia (11.5%)
  • Hong Kong (0.9%)
  • Indonesia (4.11%)
  • US (11.3%)
  • Japan (5.9%)

Which is Singapore’s top shipping container port?

Singapore Port is not only Singapore’s top shipping cargo port but it has also been steadily ranking as among the best cargo ports globally.

Which is Singapore’s top cargo airport?

Changi Airport in Singapore is the leading cargo airport in the country and one of the best airports worldwide, if not the very best!

What are the customs and tariffs regulations in Singapore?

Singapore is mostly duty free with a few exceptions for products such as tobacco, alcohol, and automobiles. Singapore has a detailed Tariff schedule for exporters’ reference to review how the final price could be impacted. The customs and excise department is responsible for implementing import regulations and other import formalities.

What is the distribution structure in Singapore?

Singapore is a city-nation with an ultra-modern infrastructure of roads, railways, and international sea and air connectivity. The government machinery operates at benchmark efficiency to support international trade. Most major international brands operate in Singapore, which is a business hub of Asia and in many ways a major international trading hub.

While the government of Singapore and the industry display a high level of professionalism and are reliable business facilitators, local legalities and regulations need to be understood and complied with thoroughly. Given a rich, receptive, and favourable market, indulging on joint venture in Singapore would be a good decision towards your business goals for profits and long-term growth.

This entry in Asia was updated on 16 February 2021 by specialist.