It's official, the Crisis of 2009 is over and Asia steams ahead, leading a global recovery. Projected growth rates here are twice as high as in the US or Europe. The Asian Pacific (APEC) economy now accounts for 40.5 % of the world's population, 54.2 % of total gross domestic product and 43.7 % of global trade.
Asia's projected growth rests on important trends, like rapid urbanisation, a rising middle class and demographic changes. This creates high demand for products and services. This is your opportunity to move closer to new markets or to find competitive sources for the homefront; be part of recovery and realise solid growth for your business.
Many multi-national companies keen to realise the opportunities in Asia, are establishing regional headquarters as a nerve centre specifically for Asian markets. Today, over 7000 Global conglomerates have setup bases in Singapore, including many blue chips from the US, Europe and Japan. Singapore offers a quality stepping stone to be present in the region. Consistently ranked in the top 5 for "ease of doing business", pro-business policies, good governance, lowest corruption, quality workforce and realistic immigration policies (bring value to the table and you're welcome)
Singapore is a global investors' preferred place for doing business. Recently picked by 17 % of respondents in a Bloomberg poll, Singapore topped London as the 2nd leading global financial centre. The investment climate attracts firms seeking a specialised financial centre that caters to specific segments of the industry. The shift of financial services from traditional locations to Singapore now includes hedge funds, project finance, private wealth management and most recently venture capital. Singapore has modest tax rates and no capital gains tax.
Singapore has one of the healthiest economies in the region, a free trade policy and few restrictions on foreign exchange and international remittances. A strong legal system which includes good IP protection is the cornerstone of its success. Singapore's home market is small but its discerning consumers and cosmopolitan society can make it the lead or reference market for innovations in Asia. The ideal environment for a quick test market and well respected by neighbouring countries. Minimal government procedures make launching a new product very doable.
Singapore boasts the largest number of supporting services players in SE Asia; banks, insurance, air and sea freight, advertising and PR, academic research in various fields and offers a basket of government support schemes. "We envision companies using Singapore as a home in Asia to feel the pulse, spot trends, and make key decisions for Asia", says Senior Minister Goh Chock Tong.
Medical tourism is the new global answer to those in need of quality healthcare at an affordable price. Singapore is a prime destination, well known for its high quality of advanced healthcare at competitive prices. With a choice of quality hospitals, Singapore offers safe options for everything from dental work to breast implants to major heart surgery.
Singapore nurtures its home talent, now with its third University of Technology and Design, in partnership with MIT in the US and Zhejiang University in China.At the same time, the country is a magnet for expatriates, attracted by professional opportunities and quality lifestyle options. The City State ranks consistently among the 10 best places to live worldwide. Those who want to jump the bandwagon of global recovery should do so now and position themselves where it is all happening.
Eric Zoetmulder is a Singapore based management consultant. His objective is to help business on crossroads of change. - Econo-Cultural; Asian companies reaching out to European and American markets, Western companies in search of value manufacturing, original R&D or emerging Asian markets for their products.
- Techno-Social; regional companies hesitant to embrace new technologies to grow and improve their processes, customer acquisition and service or even to open global markets.
- Generational; when superior products, cost effective production and personal service are threatened by changes in technology, personnel management, and leadership succession.