Singapore lies in the heart of fast growing Asia. Being a small city state is about 700 square kilometres, its economic strategy is to keep its economy open and trades with the entire world. Over the past 50 years, the country has developed rapidly from a developing country to a bustling first world global city. The country has consistently been highly rated for the ease of doing business, its excellent infrastructure and connectivity to the world.
In Asia, the country has one of the most developed infrastructure, open business policies, and a well-educated and skilled workforce. English is the main working language and the government is stable and pro-business. This has allowed the country to thrive and trade with the world. Apart from politically stability, the country has a well-developed legal system including respect for intellectual property rights. Singapore as a city state probably has one of the most number multinational companies operating here as their operation based or their Asia or regional head quarters.
Being business friendly, there are a substantially number of small and medium enterprises (SME)s (> 180,000) operating alongside MNCs (> 70,000) supporting each other and completing the business value chain. Singapore is also regarded by international small business owners as an ideal location to grow their businesses, with many of them using the country as a springboard to tap into other emerging markets in Asia.
Besides being ranked in the World Bank 2015 Report as the world’s easiest place to do business (out of 189 countries), Singapore has, among its many accolades, the top ranking in the Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015 by the World Economic Forum as being the most competitive economy in Asia. Singapore was also ranked by the Mercer 2015 Quality of Living Survey as the top Asian country for its quality of life.
Global talent are attracted to Singapore’s meritocratic society that embraces diversity, and a high quality of life in a cosmopolitan environment. There are more than 180,000 foreigners working here on Employment Passes, the highest type of work pass available for highly talented, skilled and high income foreigners.
A wealth of opportunities are abound for locals and foreign talents in both rising and established industries in Singapore, including biomedical sciences, R&D, healthcare, info-communication technology, aerospace, high end manufacturing, petro-chemical processing and financial services.
For foreign talent working in professional and white collar positions, most companies in Singapore operate on a five-day work week, not more than 44 hours a week. Most companies provide generous incentives for professional employees far exceeding the legislated minimum employment benefits of vacation leave of 7 to 14 days, 14 days of paid sick leave and 60 days paid hospitalisation leave. Over the years, employment benefits have also become more family friendly with the introduction of more generous benefits such as 7 days paternity leave, 16 weeks of maternity leave, 6 days child care leave and other pro-family incentives.
There is no minimum wage legislation in Singapore and salaries are very competitive and according to market forces. For people willing to work hard, and becomes an asset to the companies, you can expect a fast track promotion and career growth in Singapore. You can expect to enjoy performance bonus, stock options and other incentives by companies to retain talent. For people on expatriate benefits, you may enjoy additional perks such as housing, transport and child education allowances.
One of the main attractions for global talent is Singapore’s personal income tax rates, which are among the lowest in the world. If you have been working in Singapore for at least 183 days in a calendar year, you are considered a tax resident and will be taxed on all income that is incidental to employment in Singapore. Non-residents, who are in Singapore for less than 183 days a year, will be taxed only on income earned in Singapore.