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.
Singapore is consistently ranked highly in international surveys. Some of its most recent accolades include:
#1 Best business environment in the Asia Pacific and the world: Business Environment Rankings (BER) 2019, The Economist Intelligence Unit
#1 in the Asia Pacific and #5 in the world for Best global innovation: Global Innovation Index 2018
#1 in achieving human capital (knowledge, skills, and health) in the world: Human Capital Index 2019, World Bank
#1 in Asia for effective governance and enforcement of rule of law: Rule of Law Index 2018, World Justice Project
#2 in the world for economic freedom: Economic Freedom Index 2018, Heritage Foundation
#2 in the world for the easiest place to do business: Ease of Doing Business Index 2019, World Bank
#2 most competitive economy in the world: Global Competitiveness Report 2018, World Economic Forum
#2 in Asia and #7 in the world for best logistics supply chain performance: Logistics Performance Index (LPI) 2018, World Bank
#2 in the world for best labour/employer relations: Global Competitiveness Report 2018, World Economic Forum
#3 in the world for best Intellectual Property (IP) protection: Global Competitiveness Report 2018, World Economic Forum
#3 in the world for the most motivated workforce: IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2018
#4 in the world for the least corrupt economy: Corruption Perceptions Index 2018, Transparency International
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.
Strategic Position and Network of Trade Agreements
Singapore is home to the world’s top players across all industries, in part, due to its location in the heart of Southeast Asia and close proximity to surrounding emerging markets. By means of Singapore, you can reach out to the other countries in Asia effectively. Air travel is also frequent with daily inbound and outbound flights thus making business operations easier and more convenient. Singapore preserves good international connection with other countries when it comes to trade and industry.
Since the signing of the first FTA under the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) in 1993, Singapore’s network of FTAs now includes 21 bilateral and regional FTAs in force and 41 Investment Guarantee Agreements. Ongoing FTA negotiations with other countries are being facilitated.
These agreements facilitate business and trading across borders and make it less costly for Weybridge Assets to expand its operations internationally.