Singapore is a leading provider of services such as international banking, trade finance, maritime finance, insurance, treasury operations, and asset and wealth management within the region. Singapore is the fourth largest foreign exchange trading center in the world. Companies based in Singapore can tap the diverse capital markets and cutting-edge financial services from more than 500 local and foreign financial institutions here. In addition, there are over 4,500 companies offering professional services, including audit, accounting and management consulting; market research, advertising and public relations; human capital services; and legal services.
Singapore is also fast emerging as an optimal destination for the centralization of services or “shared services”. Centralizing activities such as IT, finance, and logistics, offers benefits such as lower operating costs, consistent service levels and enhanced productivity.
Global businesses find it advantageous to site their headquarters in Singapore. Strong trade and investment makes Singapore the most competitive Asian country (Global Competitiveness Report 2008). The World Bank also ranks the Republic as the world’s easiest place to do business (Doing Business 2009 report).
By situating their international HQs here, some 6,000 multinational companies benefit from Singapore’s network of over 50 comprehensive Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements. They also gain from Singapore’s many free trade agreements and the 35 Investment Guarantee Agreements. These FTAs have enable Singapore to establish a network to countries that contribute at least 60% of global GDP. Companies can always rely on protection of their ideas and innovations through Singapore’s rigorous enforcement of its strong intellectual property laws.
Outstanding Tax System
Taxes are the top in priority for business owners & a key consideration when setting up your business anywhere in the world. Singapore wets the appetite of entrepreneurs with our low effective personal and corporate tax rates. Personal income tax has a tier system that starts from just 0% and goes up to 20% for income above S$320,000. Similarly, effective corporate tax rate for Singapore private limited companies for profits up to $S300, 000 is below 9% and capped at a flat rate of 17% for profits above $S300, 000. There are no capital gains taxes in Singapore, which follows a single-tier tax policy; for income that has been taxed at the corporate level, dividends can be distributed to its shareholders tax-free.
Singapore is a major industry and contributor to the Singaporean economy, attracting 13,171,303 tourists in 2011, over twice Singapore’s total population. It is also environmentally friendly, and maintains natural and heritage conservation programs. Along with this, it also has one of the world’s lowest crime rates. As English is the dominant one of its four official languages, it is generally easier for tourists to understand when speaking to the local population of the country, for example, when shopping. Transport in Singapore exhaustively covers most, if not all public venues in Singapore, which increases convenience for tourists. This includes the well-known Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system.
The Orchard Road district, which is dominated by multi-story shopping centers and hotels, can be considered the center of tourism in Singapore. Other popular tourist attractions include the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, which allows people to explore Asian, African and American habitats at night without any visible barriers between guests and the wild animals. The Singapore Zoo has embraced the ‘open zoo’ concept whereby animals are kept in enclosures, separated from visitors by hidden dry or wet moats, instead of caging the animals.