Singapore is a hotbed for new business ventures. It may be viewed as the Silicon Valley of Asia, thanks to its convenient location and the opportunities open to investors. Tencent, ByteDance and Alibaba built regional hubs in Singapore. According to news reports, ByteDance is planning to add hundreds of jobs over the next three years; joining an international coterie of tech giants that already have headquarters or significant operations in Singapore.
Recent global politics and trade wars between the US and China, made many tech experts believe that a new technological epicentre is readily emerging and Singapore in all likelihood will take that sweet spot due to its independent political status and unprecedented financial growth led by robust innovative technologies.
Singapore, soon after being independent in 1959 had become the manufacturing and financial centre due to its open and business-friendly policies and slowly became the most sought business destination to the global MNCs, SMEs, startups, and companies driven by technology over the years. More than 80% of the world’s top technology companies have their presence in this small island nation and many more are still rushing to doing business in Singapore.
Singapore, the tiny sea city in South East Asia, has secured the top spot as the most potential world-leading technology hub and left New York behind for its Government Policy reforms, Ease of doing business, Advanced IT Infrastructure, Digital Support Initiatives, Intellectual Property Laws, English speaking skilled talent pool, Ease of access to funds including the presence of many high tech firms from USA, China and many other parts of the world.
Government policy reforms which are insignificant play over the last two decades have started bearing fruits now promoting business and investment in the country due to lower taxes, fewer capital restrictions, and liberal immigration policies. In its commitment to sustainable economic development, the country is mobilizing all possible resources and rolling out policy reforms to build robust technical infrastructure and investment opportunities.
The Smart Nation initiative, launched in 2014, is focusing on increased technology penetration into every aspect of the country’s urban and rural population.
Many government establishments have also been incorporated to help new businesses e.g. Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board.
The Government has also prioritized studying and learning technology courses to fill the talent gap including the introduction of several tech-focused graduate programs to produce local tech talent. Many companies encouraged by the government are already having satellite engineering teams in Vietnam and India for practising engineers.
Singapore Visa Programme, TechPass Singapore has been launched recently to allow established tech entrepreneurs, leaders, or technical experts from around the world to enter Singapore and contribute to the various tech innovations.
In a visionary move, the National University of Singapore launched a startup-incubation space called Block 71 in a renovated industrial building way back in 2011 embracing an identical strategy introduced in Silicon Valley.
Singapore Blockchain Innovation Programme (SBIP) has also been initiated recently to help companies commercialize blockchain technology.
There is a strong IP regulatory framework prevailing in Singapore offering confidence to high technology companies that their R&D investments are well protected in this country.
In the World Bank’s “Doing Business” 2020 rankings, Singapore ranked as second best and only after New Zealand also securing its rightful position amongst the first six countries for ease of starting a business. With world-class IT infrastructure, the country provides the most suitable conditions required for technology development.
The sea city Singapore is small in size however acts as the gateway to many parts of Asia and provides easy access to the fast-growing billion-dollar tech markets.
The Singapore government is also promoting an AI hub and developing a dedicated data science consortium besides the SBIP and continuously striving to required technological amenities to technology startups.
Singapore also has a National Trade Platform that serves connecting businesses by establishing links between importers, exporters, banks, logistics firms, customs, shipping agents, and other stakeholders.
Singapore enjoys good diplomatic relations with both the USA and China and many big American technology companies are already there in Singapore for quite some time now including IBM, Google, Facebook Inc, Twitter, Microsoft and Salesforce.
Early this year, some other fast-growing technology companies have migrated into Singapore to expand their existing businesses in the USA and China and include Zoom, Twitter, PayPal, Tencent, Alibaba, and ByteDance, the artificial intelligence company.
The presence of high profile tech companies as well as other foreign companies wanting to relocate to Singapore equates to big investments flowing into the Republic amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Language can be the biggest barrier in business communication and Singapore speaks and officiates in English, a universal language making it is for foreign companies to incorporate their business in the country. Many international schools are also available in the country offering good education and learning to the children of foreign business executives.
As the angel investing ecosystem was behind the rapid progress of technology companies, especially the startups in Silicon Valley through the early years providing requisite capital and financial support, likewise the venture capitalists with more than 150 VC funds are becoming the money source for the Singapore tech companies for the last six years. As per a report published by Enterprise Singapore, venture funding has grown up more than 10 times in Singapore since 2018.
Singapore has a large network of technology startups that have attracted significant government subsidies lately. The government has assured 85% or a maximum of $0.5 million investment in approved start-ups in Singapore under Singapore’s Technology Incubation Scheme.
Everything is in favour of Singapore in its race for becoming the new Silicon Valley in Asia except the availability of tech talents that is in high demand. While large enterprises are capable of sourcing talents, smaller start-ups are finding it difficult to get talented employees. However, Government is strategizing and implementing measures to address this issue.
The pandemic may have slowed investor and business expansion momentum around the world, but global technology corporations have been booming in a time when digital interactions have replaced physical ones out of necessity.
Foreign company registration in Singapore is straightforward and particularly so if a well-reputed local PRO services company is hired.