Why invest in Singapore

Singapore is Asia’s most competitive country with the best investment potential

Total Population : 5.6m | Total Land Area : 719 sq km | GDP : US$297 billions

Small city, Big Opportunties

ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE - No. 1 Investment Destination In Asia

Singapore consistently outranks the world as one of the cities with the best investment potential

In its BERI Report 2016-I (April 2016), US-based research institute Business Environment Risk Intelligence (BERI) ranked Singapore first out of 50 major investment destinations in a ranking that assesses operations, politics and foreign exchange.
Ranked By +5 Years 100=Perfect Country Present Combined Score +5 Years Combined Score
1 Switzerland 73 73
2 Singapore 73 72
3 Germany 66 69
4 Norway 65 69
5 Taiwan 66 68
6 Austria 64 66
7 Canada 63 65
8 Netherlands 64 65
9 United States 59 64
9 Korea (South) 60 62
10 Ireland 55 61
Source: BERI Report 2016-I (April 2016) With no restrictions on the repatriation of profits and the import of capital, along with the most favorable operating conditions and strong diplomatic ties, Singapore’s stable political and economic climate creates an ideal environment to invest in.
Note: The POR is based on a combined score of the +5 years ratings derived by adding the 1) Operations Risk Index (ORI) 2) Political Risk Index (PRI) 3) Remittance and Repatriation Factor (R Factor) and dividing by three.
BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT - The World’s Easiest Place To Do Business

The ease of setting up a company in Singapore is a clear advantage when it comes to choosing the best place to do business.

According to the Doing Business 2015 Report by the World Bank, Singapore is the easiest place in the world to conduct business

Economy 2015 Rank Score
Singapore 1 88.27
New Zealand 2 86.91
Hong Kong 3 84.97
Denmark 4 84.20
Korea 5 83.40
Norway 6 82.40
United States 7 81.98
United Kingdom 8 80.96
Finland 9 80.83
Australia 10 80.66
Source: Doing Business 2015, World Bank

It is partly due to the hassle-free way in which administrative matters are handled. Singapore helps simplify the process of setting up by making it simple to incorporate a company and register for taxes by using the same online form. Forms for construction permits, new workplace safety and healthcare regulations can also be submitted online. In addition, Singapore eased property registration by improving on its computerised system.

Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business, from 1-189. A high of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm, The rankings are determined by sorting the aggregate distance to frontier scores on 10 topics, each consisting of several indicators, giving equal weight to each topic. The rankings for all economies are benchmarked to June 2014.

COMPETITIVENESS - Top 2 Most Competitive City In The World

Singapore leads the pack among the rest of the global economies when it comes to maintaining its competitive edge

Rank Country Score
1 Switzerland 5.76
2 Singapore 5.68
3 United States 5.61
4 Germany 5.53
5 Netherlands 5.50
6 Japan 5.47
7 Hong Kong 5.46
8 Finland 5.45
9 Sweden 5.43
10 United Kingdom 5.43
Source: The Global Competitiveness Yearbook 2015-2016, World Economic Forum

According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2015 – 2016 by the World Economic Forum, Singapore is the best in Asia in terms of lack of corruption and high government efficiency. It is also recognised for the strength of its goods and labour markets; leading globally in terms of financial market development. The country’s competitiveness is further reinforced by world-class infrastructure with excellent transportation facilities and a strong focus on education that provides personnel with the skills needed for a rapidly changing global economy.

TALENT- Singapore had Unseated Silicon Valley as No.1 place for Startup talents
In Aug'17, a Berlin-based startup Nestpick analyzed popular startup locations based on metrics such as existing startup ecosystems, quality of life, salary, cost of living and social security and benefits. Singapore tops global ranking for startup talent, overtaking Silicon Valley.
That Singapore outranked San Francisco may come as a surprise, given Silicon Valley's undisputed position as the startup capital of the world. San Francisco scored highest on the startup ecosystem and salary metrics, but it was among the lowest of the cities ranked for cost of living and quality of life.

But those who have been following Singapore's rise as a startup and innovation hub may be less shocked by the results. Earlier this year, Startup Genome's Global Startup Ecosystem Report declared that Singapore had unseated Silicon Valley as the number one place in the world for startup talent.

While companies sometimes struggle to recruit advanced software engineers and tech talents in developing Southeast Asian markets, Singapore boasts a young but experienced cohort of software engineers, according to The Straits Times. As another Forbes contributor noted last year, the city-state is advantageously positioned in addition to being among the wealthiest communities in the world. Thanks to its advanced infrastructure, highly educated workforce (Singapore was said to have the world's best education system in 2015) and proximity to a number of emerging and developed markets, Singapore became a natural hub for tech companies and investors.
Source: Best Start Up Cities by Nestpick
By 2020, Asia is expected to account for 60% of global trade flows, shifting the focus away from Europe and North America. Strategically located at the heart of Asia, Singapore is right in the middle of key trade flows from Europe, the US, the Middle East, Australia and Asia which will further cement its position as a global trading hub.
EDUCATION - The National University of Singapore ranking of the top universities in Asia

Asia University Rankings 2017: Top 10

The National University of Singapore is the top institution in the continent for the second year in a row.The rankings, which have been expanded to include 300 universities, up from 200 institutions last year, suggest that these countries have the potential to follow in the footsteps of Asian higher education powerhouses such as China and South Korea.
2017 Asia rank 2016 Asia rank World University rank 2016-17 University Country
1 1 24 National University of Singapore Singapore
2 = 2 29 Peking University China
3 5 35 Tsinghua University China
4 = 2 54 Nanyang Technological University Singapore
5 4 = 43 University of Hong Kong Hong Kng
6 6 49 Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Hong Kong
7 7 39 University of Tokyo Japan
8 10 = 89 Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) South Korea
9 9 = 72 Seoul National University South Korea
10 8 = 104 Pohang University of Science and Technology South Korea

Source:Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2017

Singapore - a magnet for rich people

#1 Safest Countries to Live in the World
The Legatum Institute, a London-based research institute released its 10th annual global Prosperity Index, a massive survey that ranks the most prosperous countries in the world in 2016. The index looked at data relating to 149 countries and produced a thorough ranking, based on the national security of the listed countries and the personal safety of people living there. The amount of money a country has to its name was one of the key factors taken into account to measure prosperity, but the Legatum Institute took other issues into account, too, one being safety and security.
Source: The Legatum Prosperity Index Nov 2016
One of the Lowest Personal Income Tax Rate amongst Developed Nations
Personal income tax rates in Singapore are one of the lowest in the world. In order to determine the Singapore income tax liability of an individual, you need to first determine the tax residency and amount of chargeable income and then apply the progressive tax rate to it. Key points of Singapore income tax for individuals include:
  • A progressive tax rate starting at 0% and ending at 22% above S$320,000.
  • There is no capital gain or inheritance tax
  • Individuals are taxed only on the income earned in Singapore (including rental income). The income earned by individuals while working overseas is not subject to taxation barring few exceptions.
  • Tax rules differ based on the tax residency of the individual.
  • Tax filing due date for individuals is April 15 of each year
Source: Singapore Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore
Singapore ranks highly for best quality of life
Cost of living in Singapore may be on the steeper side but we have to concede with the fact that our quality of life is, in fact, Singapore is better than many other places in the world.
According to the Quality of Living Worldwide City Rankings in the Mercer Survey 2017, Singapore remains the highest ranking city in the Asia-Pacific region and ranks first in the world for city infrastructure, followed by Frankfurt and Munich both in 2nd place.
Source: Mercer's Quality of Living Ranking 2017
Ranked 4th healthiest country by Bloomberg 2017 index
According to the Bloomberg Global Health Index 2017, Singapore is ranked 4th healthiest country with the top 3 places are Italy, Iceland and Switzerland. Countries were graded based on variables such as life expectancy and mortality as a result of diseases and injuries, and health risks ranging from physical inactivity, high blood pressure and tobacco use to the availability of clean water.

Earlier in 2017, the venerable New York Times wrote a piece, “Make America Singapore“, about how the American healthcare system that is currently being overhauled by the Republicans can achieve better results by becoming more like Singapore. NYT wrote:
There is Singapore, whose health care system is the marvel of the wealthy world. Singaporeans pay for much of their own care out of their own pockets, and their major insurance program is designed to cover long-term illnesses and prolonged hospitalizations, not routine care. The combination has produced genuinely extraordinary results: The island state has excellent health outcomes while spending, as of 2014, just 5 percent of G.D.P. on health care. (By comparison, a typical Western European country that year spent around 10 percent; the United States spent 17 percent.)