Strong trade and investment make Singapore the most competitive Asian country and the world’s easiest place to do business
Singapore has established itself as a reputable financial and regional trading center. It is the world’s busiest port and a top location for investments in the Asia Pacific region. Factors such as strategic location, a competitive workforce, pro-business environment, and forward looking economic policies have enabled Singapore to be the world’s gateway to Asia.
Weybridge Assets is benefiting from Singapore’s wide network of trade agreements, ease of doing business, an attractive tax system, and sound intellectual property protection.
A Globally Competitive Economy
#1 most competitive economy
IMD World Competitiveness Ranking 2020
Singapore topped both IMD’s World Competitiveness 2020 and World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Competitiveness rankings in 2019.
With Singapore’s digital friendly environment, high quality infrastructure, and efforts in adopting technologies, Singapore ranked first in the IMD Smart City Index (2019) and second globally in the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking (2019).
In terms of innovation performance, Singapore ranked top in Asia in the Global Innovation Index (2019) as we were assessed to be one of the most innovative in terms of the quality of innovation input which include factors such as business environment and government efficiency.
Finally, Singapore was ranked the third most robust data centre market worldwide in Cushman & Wakefield’s Data Centre Competitiveness Index (2019). This is given its access to high speed connectivity, political stability, and low risk of natural disasters.
Strong Legal System and High Degree of Personal Safety
Singapore has one of the most stable political environments in Asia, offering entrepreneurs and investors a strong sense of security and comfort. Its judicial system has been recognized as one of the most efficient in Asia, enforcing anti-corruption laws so that investors can conduct business without fear of bureaucratic malaise.
Moreover, through strict law enforcement, Singapore has a persistently low crime rate and offers residents a high degree of personal safety. In the event of cross-border disputes, businesses can rely on Singapore’s reputation as a world-class arbitration facility.
Vibrant Financial Center and Affordable Access to Funding
Singapore is a vibrant nerve center to 124 commercial banks, 365 fund managers and 531 capital markets services license holders, as of March 2016. It is not only a hub for wealth management and investments in Asia, but has the fourth largest forex trading center, the Singapore Exchange (SGX).
Foreign Income Exemption
Another benefit is that Singapore-based holding companies or headquarters can repatriate dividends from their directly held foreign subsidiaries to Singapore free of Singapore tax. Those whose foreign subsidiaries are engaged in substantive economic activities but are unable to meet the qualifying conditions for this tax exemption may apply for a specific exemption.
This is because Singapore adopts a territorial basis of taxation. Foreign-sourced income is taxed only when it is repatriated back into Singapore. In addition, tax is not levied on foreign-sourced dividends remitted back into Singapore if – the dividends are received from a country with a headline corporate tax rate of at least 15%, some tax was paid in that country (such as withholding tax paid on the dividends or income tax paid on the profits out of which the dividends were paid), and the exemption is beneficial to the Singapore company.
Attractive Corporate Tax Rates
Besides its vast network of free trade and tax treaties, Singapore also offers one of the most attractive corporate tax structures in the world. Although its marginal rate is the third lowest in the world, its effective tax rate is even lower, compared to other more developed countries. The first three years the taxable income of non-resident corporations are exempted from taxes where it is considered a “zero tax” jurisdiction. Avoidance of Double Tax Agreements (DTAs) is also entered into by the Singapore government with other international jurisdictions in order to ensure the country’ financial success and prosperity.
By situating our international HQs here, we benefit from Singapore’s network of 76 comprehensive Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements. We also gain from Singapore’s many free trade agreements and the Investment Guarantee Agreements.
International Connectivity and Network of Trade and Double Taxation Agreements.
Singapore is located at the heart of Southeast Asia and provides excellent global connectivity to serve the fast-growing markets of the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
Singapore has over 20 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) which provided access to the markets of the partner countries. Singapore also has over 80 Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) which are advantageous to financial institutions (FIs) using Singapore as its regional or global hub.
Singapore is also building linkages, including Bilateral Investment Treaties and FinTech Cooperation Agreements, with emerging economies including in the Middle East, Africa and South America.
FIs in Singapore trade around-the-clock with Asia-Pacific centres, as well as European and American centres. This makes Singapore a hub for 24-hour trading in foreign exchange and securities.
All these agreements facilitate business and trading across borders and make it less costly for Weybridge Assets to expand its operations internationally.