What they say about Singapore is absolutely true, it is the ideal location to use as a springboard into the Asian region for your company. But even as the world’s most conducive business environment, careful navigation is critical or your Asian expansion may end up costing a lot of time and money
The Easy Wins
- Singapore is right next door to almost all of Asia’s fastest-growing markets.
- The lifestyle is unmatched in the region, particularly for families, with Singapore’s famed safety, clean air, great schools, and spectacular food.
- The government is doing everything it can to encourage business and entrepreneurship including financially and Singapore is one of the least-corrupt, most transparent and business-friendly countries on the planet.
- Singapore has year round sunshine, and if you get bored of the climate, some of world’s best holiday destinations are only a couple of hours’ flight away.
Some realities to consider
The actual application process for am employment visa is simple – but be warned, there’s no guarantee of success and the government is being increasingly stringent on new passes as well as renewing existing ones. Staying up to date with the nuances of the system are very important in this area.
Relocating an employee
The cost of relocating an existing employee from one of your current international offices can also be quite high. Whilst you can factor in the favourable tax rate - living costs such as housing, schooling and medical insurance can make a move very costly. Singapore reigns as the world’s most expensive city for the fifth year in a row, based on a report by The Economist Intelligence Unit.
If you are looking to hire in market be aware that some roles within tech may be hard to fill due to skills shortage in Singapore in the tech industry. Finding the right candidate to be the face of your brand in Asia may take time.
Time may not be on your side
Even if you are a market leader in your country of origin, be prepared for things to move slowly. It can take some time for products to gain traction. Budget cycles can be slow and rigid and early adopters in Asia require a lot of assurances.
De-risking your move
At Asia Market Entry we help de-risk expansion by providing a soft landing so that companies can justify setting up in the long term. With little investment, we help clients understand the market, test the water and build a pipeline of clients. We get your first “runs on the board” so that your business can enter the market and self-sustain. Almost immediately with little investment you can start with a team of professionals who have in-market experience and extensive networks to leverage. We can represent you and give you months or even years of a head start in Asia. We use Singapore as a base to service our clients’ expansion into all the regional market including China and Japan. We do this quite successfully with much less cost than traditional means.
Asia Market Entry partners with Stepping Stone to offer corporate services, financial consulting and accounting services in Asia.
Vishmi De Silva has been living and working in Singapore for over 12 years across a variety of roles including as Trade Director for the Victorian State Government (Australia). Vishmi has helped hundreds of companies in their expansion into Asia from setting up entities, business matching and in market representation. AME Business DevelopmentCompany Incorporation.