Singapore’s GDP per capita is among the top three in the world and the country is one of the most competitive with an annual economic growth of 2 – 4 percent. The nation has one of the world’s most transparent economies with favourable legislation, putting Singapore first on the World Bank’s list of countries in terms of ease of doing business. Foreign companies are offered competitive conditions and the market itself is a positive reference when moving further into Asia.
About 8000 multinational companies have placed their headquarters or regional office in Singapore and more than 250 Swedish companies are active here today. Increasing purchasing power, an ageing population, high urbanisation, demands for high technology products and services that also are sustainable has augmented the demand for Swedish solutions.
The political leadership has invested billions in infrastructure in order to build the world’s first truly connected society with ICT solutions in healthcare, transportation, logistics, finance, civil security and throughout the public sector. Singapore is one of Sweden’s largest export markets in Asia and the biggest in Southeast Asia (ASEAN), with exports of SEK 6 billion annually. A steady increase in Swedish export to Singapore has been noticed the past years. However, 2014 demonstrated a decline of 16 percent, a development explained by a slight slump in demand for machinery, transportation and aviation.
About half of the world maritime trade goes through Singapore and the country hosts the second largest port in the world – making Singapore a maritime hub. Singapore also has one of the world’s largest refinery capacities and a world class airport. Over 70 percent of all oilrigs are manufactured here and the country is a preferred hub for ship repairs. Most recently, Singapore has set the vision to be the world’s first Smart Nation, committing significant investment and resources to drive an increasing connectivity in order to improve the quality of life through sustainable urban planning.
Business Swed en in Singapore (also covering Brunei) has an established network of contacts within the spheres of business and government and is constantly working in close collaboration with decision-makers in order to promote Swedish competitiveness in the region.
We have identified particularly favourable business opportunities in ICT, Healthcare, Environmental Technologies, Oil and Gas and Maritime, Advanced Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Construction, Education and Retail.
Despite the favourable business climate, new companies entering the market might experience some challenges with recruitment as a result of tightening regulation concerning foreign labour. Recruitment of staff with specialised knowledge and management abilities can be tough. Mobility in the workplace is also quite high which in turn can affect staff turnover within companies. Generally, costs associated with business are relatively high and there are strict reporting requirements where financial accounting and auditing aspects are concerned.
Contact us and we can share further information regarding Singapore as an export market and how Business Sweden can support you in reaching your full international potential.