Singapore, an island country in Southeast Asia, is located off the southern edge of the Malay Peninsula, between Malaysia and Indonesia. Its official languages are English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil, and the currency is the Singapore dollar (SGD).
Singapore is one of the world’s most prosperous countries, with strong international trading links (its port is one of the world’s busiest in terms of tonnage handled) and with a per capita gross domestic product (GDP) comparable to or exceeding that of many nations in Western Europe.
Singapore has a highly developed and successful free-market economy. The economy depends heavily on exports, particularly in information technology products and pharmaceuticals, as well as a vibrant financial services sector. Based on a November 2019 forecast, GDP growth in 2020 is expected to range between 0.5% and 2.5%, improving slightly from 2019’s GDP growth of 0.7%. This reflects improvements in the growth outlook for emerging market and developing economies.
Growth in the manufacturing sector is expected to turn around, led by a gradual recovery in the electronics and precision engineering sectors, which are also expected to support growth in related sectors. The information and communications sector, finance and insurance sector, and the education, health, and social services segment, are expected to remain resilient, supported by firms’ robust demand for IT and digital solutions and the ramp-up of operations in healthcare facilities, respectively. The construction sector is also expected to see sustained growth in the coming year.
Over the longer term, the government hopes to establish a new path that focuses on innovation and value creation. Singapore has attracted major investments in pharmaceuticals and medical technology production, and it will continue to establish itself as Southeast Asia’s financial and technology hub.
Increasing numbers of entrepreneurs, corporations and ventures of all sizes across the world are using Singapore as the incorporation jurisdiction for their business. Their reasons for choosing Singapore are manifold and include:
- Singapore is ranked #2 in the world by World Bank for ease of doing business in 2018
- Singapore is ranked #4 in the world for having the best protection of intellectual property by The Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018
- Singapore is ranked #1 for having the most open economy for international trade and investment by The Global Enabling Trade Report 2016
- Singapore is ranked #1 in the world for best business environment by Economic Intelligence Unit in its 2017 report
- Singapore is ranked the third wealthiest nation in the world by Forbes magazine
- Singapore is rated #6 in the world for country with least corruption perception by Transparency International in its 2017 report
- Singapore is rated #1 for global talent competitiveness by INSEAD
- Singapore is rated #4 in the world for quality of life for expats
- Corporate tax rates are about 8.5% up to $300,000 profits and a flat 17% above that
- There are no dividend or capital gains taxes in Singapore
- There is no estate/death/inheritance tax in Singapore
- Personal tax rates start at 0% and max out at 20% above $320,000