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Over the past decade, Singapore has become one of the most lucrative developed markets in the world for foreign investors of different sizes. The nation has particularly developed into one of the major determinants of the commercial climate of the Asian region by providing a viable location for the headquarters of different foreign direct investors. There have been many companies looking to invest in Singapore, and they have to consider the viability of the region regarding the political environment, economic influences, social-cultural considerations, and the technological advantages presented by the market. This paper evaluates the potential and opportunities for foreign direct investments in Singapore.
According to the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook of 2011, Singapore was ranked as the least bureaucratic country in the Asian region, and this implies that its political environment is highly receptive to foreign investors (Facts and Rankings 2011). Singapore inherited a relatively mature political and legal system from the British, which led to the absorption of the best practices in law development and enforcement by the authorities. The government has assumed stable monetary and fiscal policies, which are attractive to foreign investors (Singh 2014). The World Bank rates Singapore as the leading nation in the ease of doing business because of its status as the most politically stable nations in Asia.
The flexible immigration policies in Singapore also provide an opportunity for foreign investors to establish business entities with expatriate employees. It is relatively easy for foreign professionals to relocate from any part of the world to Singapore. The political system in Singapore has assumed a pro-business perspective in the development of policies to ensure that the nation attains a leading status over the developed nations across the world.
Singapore has developed a free-market economy that is open for foreign direct investors. The economic policies of the nation have been tailored to ensure that both local and foreign investors operate in harmony. The government of Singapore has particularly developed a wide network of double tax agreements, which ensure that investors in the nation are exempted from double taxation in international trade. This implies that taxes for FDIs in this economy are relatively lower than in other Asian economies, and this subsequently leads to lower financial liabilities for foreign businesses (Kanth 2005).
The per-capita income in Singapore is the highest in Asia, which implies that the purchasing power of the consumers in the market is relatively high; thus, foreign investors have an opportunity to harness a profitable market share in Singapore. Additionally, the economy is free from corruption, unlike other states in Asia, which is good for business. However, labor costs in Singapore are relatively high, but the immigration policies have enabled foreign investors to acquire affordable labor from other Asian nations and other parts of the world (Doing business in Singapore: Singapore trade and export guide 2016).
The society in Singapore is relatively divided regarding the social-cultural norms. While the elderly people in the nation still observe the Eastern culture religiously, the younger generation has adopted some Western cultural practices (Makos 2015). These developments imply that foreign investors must be acquainted with the relevant information on how to deal with different people in the market. However, it is always safe for investors to observe the cultural requirement of the Eastern nations. The purchasing power of the consumers in this market is extremely high, but their consumption behavior is determined by the sustainability factors associated with the producers of different commodities. The consumer behavior of the majority of the people in Singapore highlights a society that is particularly interested in purchasing luxurious commodities.
Additionally, society is quite conscious of the environmental sustainability factors associated with the different companies, and these factors influence their choices in purchasing different products. It is also apparent that the business culture in Singapore is based on Eastern culture, and it is particularly oriented toward Chinese culture. Business entities should be able to facilitate assistance to customers in both English and Chinese because the majority of the potential consumers are conversant with either of the languages. The negotiation process in business in Singapore is characterized by ultimate respect for the associated partners. Negotiations should also be straight to the point in case a foreign entity wants to seal a deal with the local investors.
The drastic changes in the lives of the society in Singapore are attributed to the fast growth in technology within the nation. The public and private sectors have actively adopted technological connectivity to enhance the productivity of the nation. The majority of the citizens in Singapore have access to the internet in their private residences, which implies that businesses can use different modern advertising platforms to harness a larger market share (Ha & Coghill 2006).
Additionally, the advancement in technology provides an opportunity for investors to invest in e-commerce. The technological infrastructure developed by the private and public sectors in Singapore also presents a unique opportunity for FDIs looking to establish regional investments in Asia. It is also apparent that the society in Singapore has actively embraced the use of social media, which implies that foreign companies that have already adopted the use of the modern marketing strategies can easily fit into the business environment.
Singapore has developed into one of the richest economies in Asia following the development of a government that embraces pro-business policies. The stable political environment in the nation provides incentives for foreign direct investments. The economic environment of the nation also presents an opportunity for the FDIs to harness a profitable market share, especially when considering the high purchasing power of the members of the society. The flexible immigration policies have also enabled companies to acquire affordable labor from different parts of the world. The evaluation of the nation reveals that Singapore is one of the most viable regions for FDIs.
List of References
Facts and Rankings 2011. Web.
Ha, H & Coghill, K 2006, ‘E-Government in Singapore—A Swot and Pest Analysis’, Asia-Pacific Social Science Review, vol. 6, no. 2, pp.103-130. Web.
Kanth, R 2005, Singapore is the biggest FDI draw in Asia after China, HK, Business Times. Web.
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Makos, J 2015, PESTLE Analysis of Singapore. Web.
Singh, M 2014, Singapore is the most attractive destination for FDI in the region. Web.