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Singapore business sector overview

The Republic of Singapore, or simply Singapore, is a sovereign city-state located in Southeast Asia. Singapore is a global finance, commerce and transport hub with numerous standings, such as the most technology-ready country, top International-meetings city, city with the best investment potential, third most competitive country, third largest financial centre and many other nominations. The country also has been recognized as a tax haven.

Singapore has the 5th highest UN Human Development Index, the 3rd highest GDP per capita; it is also highly ranked in healthcare, education, life expectancy, personal safety, quality of life as well as housing. There are four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil.

Singapore business overview

Singapore is recognized as a top business destination by the rest of the world due to numerous reasons. With the help of various policies and reforms, the government has managed to transform Singapore into a perfect environment for doing business. Due to the suitable environment, Singapore provides numerous opportunities for businesses to grow and flourish over time. This is just one of the reasons why a large part of businesses in the city is owned by foreign entrepreneurs. Businessmen from all around the world are attracted by the highly advanced infrastructure, and the extremely advantageous geographical location.

As the most tech-ready nation in the world, Singapore’s openness to communication and information technologies has contributed to the country’s economic success. Furthermore, an advanced seaport along with international and domestic transportation services allows entrepreneurs to use the country as a trade and commercialization hub. Singapore’s global connectivity along with trade linkages has enabled investors and entrepreneurs to access the Asia Pacific as one of the fastest growing regions in the world.

The city-state continues to be well-regarded as an economy with a credit rating of a triple-A and strong potential for growth.

Business sectors

Due to its business-friendly environment, there are numerous business sectors that have flourished over the years. Below is an overview of some industries that, among others, offer various business opportunities for foreign and local entrepreneurs.

Oil-refining – Singapore is the 3rd largest oil-refining and trading centre as well as the largest oil-rig producer in the world. Singapore is also a major hub for ship repair services. Refined petroleum is among the main exported products.

Banking sector – with over 200 banks operating in Singapore and more and more banking institutions chosen to establish their operational headquarters to service the regional group activities, the banking sector is a particularly profitable area for the country. Not only the banking sector provides jobs and profits to the nation, its liquid capital market is a major source of funding for Singapore’s growth and development.

Information technology – Singapore was among those countries that managed to catch the emerging trend of IT establishments and their economic success, therefore, grabbed the opportunity to invest in this, at that time, new sector. Furthermore, the highly qualified employees with impressive IT skills have helped this sector to grow and flourish.

Telecom Industry – deals with providing and improving mobile services, internet connectivity services and other technologies in Southeast Asia. Due to the growing amount of businesses and residents in Singapore, such services are highly demanded.

Travel and tourism – over the years, the number of tourists visiting Singapore has increased and it still continues to become even more and more popular travel destination. Due to the convenient geographical location, beautiful nature and culture as well as numerous international and domestic means of transportation, Singapore is attracting more and more tourists each year, which in turn, results in an increasing demand for tourism-related services and businesses.

Food and Beverages – Due to the high amount of foreign visitors as well as people who have decided to reside in Singapore, the culture of the nation is rather diverse and complex. The wide range of preferences of these people has led to an increased demand for a variety of cuisines and the business opportunities in this sector.

Hospitality – Hospitality sector is supported by the government, particularly the establishment of resorts and hotels as well as small-scale businesses, such as inns, guesthouses and hostels due to the increasing interest from the tourists. While Singapore is very open to various business opportunities, those that will contribute to a maximization of tourists are particularly welcomed by the government.

Retail fashion and stores – the residents of Singapore are highly interested in the fashion and following the latest fashion trends is an important matter in their lives.

Beauty salons and spas – while Singapore is often seen as a highly productive place to work, anyone needs to relax and rejuvenate once in a while. In spite of the vibrant nature of the residents of Singapore, a large part of them have made sure to include a weekly visit to a beauty salon or spa.

Education – the capital of entrepreneurs is also welcoming various educational setups. Education, which is mostly in the form of private courses in particular sectors, is greatly popular, especially among young entrepreneurs. Due to this fact, education has become one of the most successful businesses as of today.

This overview of the potential business sectors in Singapore is certainly not comprehensive and there are numerous other sectors which provide business opportunities to foreign and local entrepreneurs.