Singapore is a place that rewards a hardworking, entrepreneurial spirit. A city that ranks #1 in the world year after year (World Bank) for ease in doing business, Singapore has many assets to attract foreign industry & trade: ultra-modern broadband communication infrastructure, an amazingly low crime and corruption-free environment, an excellent travel infrastructure both internally and internationally, straightforward tax laws and so much more.
For the savvy businessperson or entrepreneur, a major advantage to creating an office or relocating your business to Singapore is its convenient location; Singapore is THE place to globalize your business with a focus on Eastern markets. Singapore is situated in the heart of Southeast Asia, allowing for a business to access a market of 2.8 billion people within a few hours flight. Singapore’s port is one of the busiest in the world, and the country is classified as a premier International Maritime Center. Singapore was ranked as the third most globalized economy among 60 of the world’s largest economies by Ernst and Young’s 2011 Globalization Index and is rated #1 as the most politically stable country in Asia.
Starting a business in Singapore is a simple three-step process: registering online with ACRA, making a company seal, and signing up for Work Injury Compensation Insurance. The entire process takes an average of three days. For those looking at individual career opportunities in Singapore, there are many opportunities in the areas of tourism, technology, logistics, finance, sciences and more.
While considerably westernized, expats will need to make an effort to familiarize themselves with the business culture and etiquette in Singapore if they want to be successful.
When making business connections in Singapore, a handshake is an appropriate greeting, and business cards should be offered formally with both hands. It is appropriate to address someone as Mr. or Ms. and senior or older associates should always be addressed with respect. Dealings in Singapore have a hierarchical structure, and it’s uncommon for junior employees and management to socialize. Both flattering and boasting are looked on with suspicion, and prolonged eye contact is seen as aggressive.
Business people in Singapore, as in much of Asia, are cautious. They like to make sure they are working with the best people for their business. As a result it is necessary to take things slowly and to spend time establishing a good relationship while demonstrating your assets; remain patient as a connection is cemented. The people of Singapore are friendly and eager to engage in new business, making professionalism, enthusiasm and manners the key ingredients to success.