International business in Singapore

Singapore, the Lion City, ranks #1 in the ease of doing business in the international business world. It is a parliamentary representative democratic republic. Singapore strictly enforces law and order. It is comparable with the West in providing institutionalized governance to its citizens.

The import market is approximately 167.5% of the Singaporean GDP. It’s basically safe to do international business in Singapore as the country provides a transparent framework of laws and regulations. English is one of the official languages. With a majority of Singaporeans speaking English, Singapore has very few challenges of international business usually encountered dealing with other countries.

While an exporter of goods and services can command good pricing in the Singaporean market, the complex framework of business guidelines, regulations, and laws have to be complied with; penalties for non-compliance can be hefty.

Singapore’s Vital Data (as of 2019)

Population (million) 5.7
GDP (billion USD) 372
GDP per capita (USD) 65,233
GDP per capita PPP (USD) 97,341
Purchasing power per dollar, compared to the USA 147%
Surface area (sq km) 728
% of population living in urban areas 100%
% of GDP added by agriculture – industry – services not available for 2019
Ease of doing business index (1 = best, 189 = lowest) 1

What are business opportunities in Singapore?

With an import component of more than 150% of its GDP, Singaporeans use more imported than indigenous products. Singapore is a fine example of a highly regulated but favourable import market. While the Singaporean government puts out latest information supporting international businesses, trade fairs and exhibitions facilitate meaningful business to business interactions.

Where the action really is – international business and Singapore

The top 5 imports into Singapore are Oil, electronics, machinery, Medical and Technical equipment, and gems and precious metals. The top exporter to Singapore is China followed by the US.

Duty rates for imports range from 0 to 4% and are calculated together with freight and insurance added to the value of the product. Transparency in rules around international business is the hallmark and pleasure of doing business in Singapore.

What are Singapore’s important events?

Singapore is a world shopping, trade, and tourist destination. The annual Singapore shopping festival is a mega event for world shoppers. Singapore’s Museums, Play theaters, and ethnic townships offer a rich mix of culture, entertainment, and mouth-watering cuisine.

Businesses can formulate a highly workable international business strategy given the support mechanisms provided by the government. As productivity enhancement is one of the mantras of the government, products and services that support this are subsidized up to 70% under the PIC fiscal arrangement. Singapore is a premium market for products and services. Local knowledge, matching business partners, and initial support can help your business thrive and grow.

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