From a geographic point of view, Singapore is a tiny little country in the Asia-Pacific region. To be precise, it is situated off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. With a total square kilometer area of only about 710 km, it is clearly one of the smallest countries in the region. But from pure economics point of view, this tiny little country cannot by any imagination be called "small". In fact, many business or international trade analysts would call Singapore "The Real Asian Giant".
With one of the best developed economy which is market driven and growing at a tremendous pace, Singapore is the preferred destination for international investors and entrepreneurs. It is the fourth largest foreign exchange trading center in the world and more importantly, has been ranked as the best place to do business year after year by several world business reports of excellent repute.
The more significant report of late has been the "Doing Business 2010 Report" by the World Bank which rates Singapore as the easiest place to conduct business while being the most competitive as well in Asia.
In fact, one of the important factors that place Singapore ahead of the other main Asian giants such as China or India is the business friendly policies of the Government. Foreign entrepreneurs who are based in Singapore and incorporate a Singapore company is treated the same as a local entrepreneur. With 100% foreign ownership allowed in a Singapore based company, foreign owned companies can be registered within one or two working days and can avail of all the business and tax incentives on offer by the Government if the company is managed from Singapore.
Singapore company registration can also be completed by foreign entrepreneurs even if they do not visit the country and also if they wish to operate the business from their current country of residence. The other aspect which makes registering a company in Singapore simple, straight-forward and more importantly risk-free, is the absence of any kind of corruption, red tape or bureaucracy in the company registration process. As a matter of fact, this is where Singapore scores big over other economies in the entire continent. Foreign companies usually complain how difficult or frustrating it can get when dealing with Government bodies in many countries around the world. But Singapore offers such an efficient and streamlined system, that there is no corruption or unnecessary blockage to incorporating and operating a business from the country.
Investors often feel that Singapore is a risk-free country for their investments and it is better to manage operations in the entire region from Singapore. This is the reason why the country has seen an enormous rise in registrations of company headquarters for the entire Asia-Pacific region.
While Singapore's boundaries will always make it a small country, Singapore's economic achievements has made it an Asian giant and a force to reckon with. It is the prime example of how good vision and proper execution can make a difference to any country's future. Singapore is not just a small city-state but the most preferred destination for foreign entrepreneurs as well as investors who are looking for the best in infrastructure, business policies, growth potential and of course the best return on investment.
Bryan Wong is a business analyst focusing on the Asia-Pacific region and writes several articles on the Asian economy.