In the heart of Asia lies Singapore. A bustling, world-class city-state that has made waves around the world for its business excellence, innovation and connectivity. It's a modern city-state embracing economic progress against the backdrop of age-old tradition. The customs that support everyday life emerge out of a rich cultural mix of Chinese, Indian and Malay ethnic groups.
Singapore is not only the city-hub of South East Asia but a global business hub. One that features developed infrastructure, political stability, open business policies, skilled workforce, and the use of English as the main working language. Many multinational companies have established bases here and nearly 200,000 small and medium enterprises. Business owners all over the world regard Singapore 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.
The country is growing at 4.5 per cent with investment in commerce, infrastructure, housing, transportation systems, culture and entertainment and there are opportunities in every direction.
Considered as the world’s second easiest place to do business (Doing Business 2017 report by the World Bank), Singapore welcomes investors with a smooth channel for their ventures. From excellent infrastructure to convenient online portals and transparent laws, setting up a business is fuss-free. Global talent is attracted to Singapore given it embraces diversity, and offers a high quality lifestyle.
Most visitors coming into Singapore do not require a visa for entry and are issued social visit passes. The period of stay granted will be shown on the endorsement stamped in your passport. The list of countries whose nationals require a visa to enter Singapore can be found on the ICA's website. For more information read more here.
Changi is a modern efficient airport with 3 terminals. After disembarking your flight, you can be through customs to your luggage very quickly. Follow the signs to the taxi queue that's very efficient and you'll be ushered into a waiting taxi. You may see a waiting black Chrysler taxi car that most locals avoid as the fee is slightly higher. If you’re in a hurry and happy to pay a little more, let the attendant know and you can jump the queue and get to your hotel quickly. Click here for more details about Changi International Airport’s services and facilities.
As a business person, using taxis or Grab is definitely the way to go. Singapore has taxis that are highly regulated, safe and affordable. They all have air conditioning and the drivers are usually helpful. The only challenge you’ll experience is if you need a taxi fast during rush hour or a downpour. To ensure your transport around Singapore is efficient, read more here and download the booking apps.
To stay connected without the expense of global data roaming, invest in a prepaid mobile SIM card with a data plan. You will find the operators - SingTel, StarHub and M1 - at the airport or in town. There are many packages to choose from and all have top-up options. Your passport will be needed to buy a prepaid SIM card.
Also, you may want to take advantage of Wireless@SG, Singapore’s free public WiFi service which allows you to access bandwidth-intensive applications out and about. All visitors to Singapore can register for a free account at Changi Airport or Singapore Visitor Centre. Overseas charges may apply.
A popular app used by Singaporeans for messaging is WhatsApp.
Singapore is very safe with crime limited to the odd petty theft or “outrage of modesty”. You can travel to any part of Singapore alone, anytime but do be vigilant in crowded places as there have been incidents of foreign pickpocket syndicates. Read more about health and safety in Singapore here.
English is the spoken language but Mandarin, Malay, Tamil and various dialects are also used. The local lingo, Singlish is widely spoken by the locals which is the by-product of mixing English, Chinese and Malay syntax and idiom. For business and politics, English is the language of choice. Here are some useful phrases.
Singapore society is a highly diversified cultural mix of Chinese, Indian and Malay traditions coming together. The culture is heavily focused on saving face in just about every aspect of life. One’s good name is valued highly and must be preserved. Hierarchical social structures remain effective, predominantly in the respect for age and status. To be successful in business make sure you are fully versed in it here.
5.47 million (March 2015)
Chinese form 74.2% of the population, with the Malays comprising 13.3%. Indians make up 9.2%, and Asians of different origins combine at 3.3%.
Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Taoism and Hinduism.
704 square kilometres (272 square miles)
Tropical climate, consistently warm and humid throughout the year.
Most of Singapore is less than 15 metres above sea level. The highest point is Bukit Timah, with a height of 165 m (538 ft).
Tap water is safe and pleasant to drink.
Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. Three-pin, square-shaped plugs are in use.
The international access code for Singapore is +65.
Income tax is based on the progressive tax system up to 22%.
Tipping is not expected as most hotels and restaurants in Singapore already levy a 10% service charge on your bill.