FACTS AND RANKINGS

Singapore has many accolades pegged to its brand, bolstering the Republic’s reputation as a key regional and global hub for companies to do business. Discover key facts and rankings about Singapore today.

ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE

No. 1 city with the best investment potential
Singapore now outranks the world as an investment destination, after coming in second for 16 consecutive years.

In its BERI Report 2014-I (April 2014), US-based research institute Business Environment Risk Intelligence (BERI) ranked Singapore first out of 50 major investment destinations in a ranking that assesses operations, politics and foreign exchange. With no restrictions on the repatriation of profits and the import of capital, along with the most favourable operating conditions and strong diplomatic ties, Singapore’s stable political and economic climate creates an ideal environment to invest in.

Ranked By
+5 Years
100=Perfect
Country/Region
Present
Combined Score
+5 Years
Combined Score
1
Singapore 75
76
2
Switzerland 74 75
3 Taiwan
72 74
4
Norway 69 72
5
Germany 69 70
6
Austria 67
67
7
Canada 62 64
8
Netherlands 65 64
9
Denmark 58 62
10
Finland 59 62
10
United States 58 62
12
China
56 61
13
Sweden 59 61
14
Belgium 59 60
15 Ireland
57 60

Source: BERI Report 2014-I (April 2014)

Note:
The POR is based on a combined score of the +5 years ratings derived by adding the
1) Operations Risk Index (ORI)
2) Political Risk Index (PRI)
3) Remittance and Repatriation Factor (R Factor) and dividing by three.

Top 2 in the world for foreign trade and investment
The nation’s standing in the economic world, ideal geographic location and vibrant lifestyle are among reasons for foreign interest in Singapore.

According to the Globalisation Index 2012, Singapore came in after Hong Kong as the country preferred for foreign trade and investment. A number of factors have contributed to this achievement, namely the country’s strategic geographic location, connected networks with the rest of the world, strong legal system and attractive tax system.

Ranking Country/Region Score
1 Hong Kong 7.81
2
Singapore 6.31
3
Ireland 5.63
4
Belgium 5.49
5
Switzerland 5.30
6
Netherlands 5.19
7
Sweden 4.96
8
Denmark 4.94
9
Hungary 4.75
10 United Kingdom
4.74

Source: The Globalization Index 2012

COMPETITIVENESS AND BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT

The world’s easiest place to do business
The ease of setting up a company in Singapore is a clear advantage when it comes to choosing the best place to do business.

According to the Doing Business 2014 Report by the World Bank, Singapore is the easiest place in the world to conduct business, partly due to the hassle-free way in which administrative matters are handled. Singapore helps simplify the process of setting up by making it simple to incorporate a company and register for taxes by using the same online form. Forms for construction permits, new workplace safety and healthcare regulations can also be submitted online. In addition, Singapore eased property registration by improving on its computerised system.

Economy 2014 Rank
Singapore
1
New Zealand 2
Hong Kong
3
Denmark
4
Korea, REP
5
Norway
6
United States*
7
United Kingdom
8
Finland
9
Australia 10

Source: Doing Business 2014, World Bank (http://www.doingbusiness.org/rankings)
Note*: The rankings of economies with populations over 100 million (Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Russian Federation and the United States) are based on data for 2 cities.

Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business, from 1-189. A high of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm, The rankings are determined by sorting the aggregate distance to frontier scores on 10 topics, each consisting of several indicators, giving equal weight to each topic. The rankings for all economies are benchmarked to June 2014.

Top 2 most competitive city in the world
Singapore leads the pack among the rest of the global economies when it comes to maintaining its competitive edge.

According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2014 – 2015 by the World Economic Forum, Singapore is the best in Asia in terms of lack of corruption and high government efficiency. It is also recognised for the strength of its goods and labour markets; leading globally in terms of financial market development. The country’s competitiveness is further reinforced by world-class infrastructure with excellent transportation facilities and a strong focus on education that provides personnel with the skills needed for a rapidly changing global economy.

Rank Country/Region Score
1 Switzerland 5.70
2
Singapore 5.65
3
United States 5.54
4
Finland 5.50
5
Germany 5.49
6
Japan 5.47
7
Hong Kong
5.46
8
Netherlands 5.45
9
United Kingdom 5.41
10 Sweden
5.41

Source: The Global Competitiveness Yearbook 2014-2015, World Economic Forum

Best business environment in Asia Pacific and the world
Singapore has the most conducive environment for business as compared to the rest of its neighbours – and the world.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Country Forecasts Report in 2014, the country was ranked the most attractive as an investment location, both regionally and globally. Factors taken into consideration for ranking purposes were supportive government policies, attractive labour market conditions, a sound infrastructure and financing efficiency.

Rank Country/Region Score
1
Singapore 8.65
2
Switzerland 8.52
3 Hong Kong 8.39
4
Canada 8.30
5
Australia 8.29
6
Sweden 8.26
7
United States 8.25
8
New Zealand 8.18
9
Finland 8.18
10
Denmark 8.16
11
Norway 8.01
12
Germany 7.98
13
Chile 7.89
14
Taiwan 7.85
15 Ireland
7.79

Source: Business Environment Rankings (BER), The Economist Intelligence Unit

Asia’s most network-ready country
Singapore enjoys the most seamless connectivity in Asia with one of the widest telecommunications networks in the world.

Based on the The Global Information Technology Report 2014 as conducted by the World Economic Forum, Singapore has the best network-ready environment in Asia in terms of market, political and regulatory infrastructure for connectivity. There are also high levels of individual, business and government readiness and usage of technology; making the country the most conducive place for business as compared to the rest of the region.

Rank Country/Region Score
1
Finland 6.04
2
Singapore 5.97
3
Sweden 5.93
4
Netherlands 5.79
5
Norway 5.70
6
Switzerland 5.62
7
United States 5.61
8
Hong Kong 5.60
9
United Kingdom 5.54
10
Korea, REP 5.54
11
Luxembourg 5.53
12
Germany 5.50
13
Denmark 5.50
14
Taiwan 5.47
15 Israel
5.42

Source: The Global Information Technology Report 2014

Asia’s No.1 for best logistics supply chain performance
Singapore is the top in Asia for logistics performance.

Based on a worldwide survey of global freight forwarders and express carriers, the Logistics Performance Index is a benchmarking tool developed by the World Bank that measures performance along the logistics supply chain within a country. Allowing for comparisons across 160 countries, the index can help countries identify challenges and opportunities and improve their logistics performance. The World Bank conducts the survey every two years.

The international LPI analyzes countries in six components:

  • The efficiency of customs and border clearance (“Customs”).
  • The quality of trade and transport infrastructure (“Infrastructure”).
  • The ease of arranging competitively priced shipments (“Ease of arranging shipments”).
  • The competence and quality of logistics services—trucking, forwarding, and customs brokerage (“Quality of logistics services”).
  • The ability to track and trace consignments (“Tracking and tracing”).
  • The frequency with which shipments reach consignees within scheduled or expected delivery times (“Timeliness”).

Rank Country/Region Score
1 Germany 4.12
2 Netherlands 4.05
3 Belgium 4.04
4 United Kingdom 4.01
5
Singapore 4.00
6
Sweden 3.96
7
Norway 3.96
8
Luxembourg 3.95
9
United States 3.92
10 Japan
3.91

Source: Logistics Performance Index (LPI), World Bank 2014

BUSINESS LEGISLATION AND EFFICIENCY

Asia’s best intellectual property protection
Singapore recognises intellectual property (IP) as an invaluable asset in shaping a knowledge-based economy.

In its Global Competitiveness Report 2013 – 2014, the World Economic Forum has ranked Singapore as having the best IP protection in Asia based on the infrastructure and incentives put in place by the government to encourage innovation by existing and emerging industries.

Rank Country/Region Score
1
Finland 6.2
2
Singapore 6.1
3
New Zealand 6.0
4
Qatar 6.0
5
Switzerland 6.0
6
Luxembourg 5.9
7
Puerto Rico 5.9
8
United Kingdom 5.8
9
Netherlands 5.7
10
Hong Kong 5.7
11
Japan 5.7
12
France 5.7
13
Canada 5.6
14
Germany 5.6
15 Norway
5.5

Source: The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014, World Economic Forum

Asia’s least bureaucratic place to do business
Businesses who plan to invest in Singapore need not worry about the hassle of red tape or the slowing down of operations.

The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook in 2013 has deemed Singapore to be the least bureaucratic country in Asia – making it the perfect place to set up an operations base or business. Rankings were based on government interference, attractive policies, transparency and accountability.

Rank Country/Region Score
1
United Arab Emirates 6.59
2
Singapore 6.43
3
Sweden 6.07
4
Denmark 6.00
5
Finland 6.00
6
Switzerland 5.94
7
Hong Kong 5.87
8
Canada 5.00
9
Estonia 4.98
10
Ireland 4.98
11
Netherlands 4.96
12
Malaysia 4.84
13
Norway 4.79
14
New Zealand 4.64
15 Qatar
4.61

Source: IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook in 2013

GOVERNMENT

Top 3 in the world for least corruption in the economy
The Singapore government practises an open and transparent approach when it comes to all business matters.

According to The Global Competitiveness Report 2013–2014, Singapore is the least corrupt country in the region where transparency is valued highly; due to clear and strict laws and legislations imposed by the government over business dealings and transactions.

Rank Country/Region Score
1
New Zealand 6.7
2
Finland 6.6
3
Singapore 6.5
4
Qatar 6.5
5
United Arab Emirates 6.4
6
Norway 6.3
7
Iceland 6.3
8
Luxembourg 6.2
9
Switzerland 6.2
10
Sweden 6.2
11
Ireland 6.1
12
Japan 6.1
13
Hong Kong
6.1
14
Netherlands 6.1
15 Denmark
6.1

Source: The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014, World Economic Forum

Most transparent country in Asia
Government policies in Singapore are clear and transparent when it comes to business.

The Global Competitiveness Report 2013–2014 recognises Singapore as a country with sound political infrastructure and policy-making procedures; leading to its ranking as the most transparent country in Asia that enjoys a stable business environment.

Rank Country/Region Score
1
Singapore 6.1
2
Finland 6.1
3
Hong Kong
5.9
4
New Zealand 5.9
5
Qatar 5.8
6
Switzerland 5.7
7
Luxembourg 5.5
8
Rwanda 5.5
9
Taiwan 5.4
10
United Kingdom 5.3
11
United Arab Emirates 5.2
12
Netherlands 5.2
13
Japan 5.2
14
Chile 5.1
15 Canada
5.1

Source: The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014, World Economic Forum

LABOUR

Top of BERI’s Labour Force Evaluation Measure
Singapore has a consistently productive and skilled labour force that makes it a conducive place for growing businesses.

Based on the Business Environment Risk Intelligence (BERI) Report 2014, Singapore enjoys the highest ranking for labour force in terms of workers’ productivity and general overall attitude; as displayed by superior business performances with advanced technology and low labour unit costs in relation to the value of goods and services produced.

Country/Region 2014 LFEM
Singapore 92
United States
80
Taiwan 79
Switzerland 77
Belgium 76
Japan 75
Sweden 70
Ireland 70
Australia 69
Netherlands 67
Germany 67
United Kingdom 67
Denmark 66
Canada 65
France
62

Source: BERI Report 2014

Top 10 in Asia for most motivated workforce
The mind-set of Singaporean talent is generally positive and makes for a productive working environment.

According to the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook in 2013, Singapore’s workforce is highly motivated; making for one of the most productive labour forces in the region. This ranking is due to effective company policies in place, a generally conducive working environment and attractive living conditions in the country.

Rank Country/Region Score
1
Denmark 7.87
2
Switzerland 7.77
3
Ireland 7.60
4
Austria 7.59
5
Japan 7.58
6
Norway 7.33
7
Sweden 7.31
8
Taiwan 7.31
9
Germany 7.29
10
Malaysia 7.09
11
Iceland 7.00
12
Netherlands 7.00
13
Finland 6.98
14
United Arab Emirates 6.97
15 Israel
6.83
16 United States
6.79
17
Singapore 6.78
18
Philippines 6.68
19
Thailand 6.62
20
Hong Kong 6.58

Source: IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook in 2013

Top 10 in Asia for best skilled labour
Singapore’s focus on a knowledge-based economy has led to an influx and growth of skilled labour from around the region and within the city itself.

The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook in 2013 states that Singapore has one of the most skilled labour pools in the region due to sound education policies, the ready availability of training programmes and attractive incentives for local and foreign talent.The mind-set of Singaporean talent is generally positive and makes for a productive working environment.

Rank Country/Region Score
1
Denmark 7.87
2
Philippines 7.84
3
Ireland 7.65
4
Finland 7.62
5
Sweden 7.24
6
Greece 7.18
7
United Arab Emirates
7.11
8
Canada 6.88
9
Netherlands 6.88
10
Israel 6.87
11
Spain 6.77
12
Malaysia 6.70
13
Taiwan 6.65
14
United States 6.65
15 Poland
6.62
16 Turkey
6.39
17
Switzerland 6.38
18
Iceland 6.37
19
Belgium 6.35
20
Hong Kong 6.33
21
France 6.11
22
Czech Republic 6.10
23
Norway 6.08
24
United Kingdom 6.02
25
Russia 5.95
26
Japan 5.88
27
Thailand 5.85
28
India 5.85
29
Portugal 5.84
30
Singapore 5.84

Source: IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook in 2013

Top 5 in the world for most business conducive labour regulations
Singapore’s government policies make it easy and convenient for businesses that set up operations to attract and retain skilled labour.

As found in the Global Competitiveness Report 2011 – 2012 by the World Economic Forum, Singapore’s labour regulations are one of the most effective and flexible in Asia when it comes to hiring talent as compared to the rest of its neighbours. These include an attractive tax system and effective manpower regulations.

Ranking Country/Region Index
1
Denmark 8.35
2
Switzerland 7.96
3
Iceland 7.91
4
Hong Kong 7.10
5
Singapore 7.05
6
Thailand 6.92
7
Estonia 6.52
8
United States 6.48
9
Malaysia 6.47
10
Israel 6.46
11
China
6.34
12
Canada 6.34
13
Taiwan 6.25
14
Kazakhstan 6.17
15 New Zealand
6.00

Source: The Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012, World Economic Forum

Top 2 in the world for best labour/employer relations in Asia
The relationship between employee and employer in the average Singapore workplace is the best in the region.

According to The Global Competitiveness Report 2013–2014, Singapore enjoys better working conditions and higher rates of productivity due to more open communication channels and camaraderie between employee and employer.

Rank Country/Region Score
1
Switzerland 6.0
2
Singapore 6.0
3
Denmark 5.8
4
Norway 5.8
5
Netherlands 5.7
6
Sweden 5.7
7
Qatar 5.6
8
Hong Kong 5.6
9
Japan 5.6
10
Austria 5.5
11
New Zealand 5.5
12
Iceland 5.5
13
Ireland 5.4
14
Costa Rica 5.3
15 Lao PDR
5.3

Source: The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014, World Economic Forum

EXPATRIATE LIVING

Asia’s best country to work in
As voted by its labour force, Singapore is the best country to earn a living in Asia.

Based on the Global Competitiveness Report 2011 – 2012 by the World Economic Forum, besides the city’s standard of living, Singapore’s working conditions are the best in the region as employees are deemed to be better taken care of due to effective labour policies and a general employer mind-set that allows for employees to enjoy a balance in life.

Ranking Country/Region Index
1
Switzerland 9.00
3
United States 8.44
3
Singapore 8.15
4
Australia 8.08
5
Qatar 7.81
6
United Kingdom 7.66
7
Hong Kong 7.65
8
United Arab Emirates 7.56
9
Canada 7.52
10
Luxembourg 7.42
11
Chile 7.24
12
Indonesia 6.68
13
Malaysia 6.44
14
Netherlands 6.39
15 Ireland
6.27

Source: The Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012, World Economic Forum

Top 2 in Asia for best quality of life
Singapore has been ranked the 2nd place to live, work and play as compared to its neighbouring countries.

Based on the Quality of Living Worldwide City Rankings in the Mercer Survey 2014, Singapore has the 2nd best environment, facilities and infrastructure available for citizens to enjoy a good quality of life due to a stable political climate, world-class transportation and healthcare system as well as entertainment variety.

Mercer Quality of Living Survey
Rankings City Country/Region
1
Luanda Angola
2
N'djamena Chad
3
Hong Kong Hong Kong
4
Singapore Singapore
5
Zurich Switzerland
6
Geneva Switzerland
7
Tokyo Japan
8
Bern Switzerland
9
Moscow Russia
10
Shanghai China
11
Beijing China
12
London United Kingdom
13
Victoria Seychelles
14
Seoul South Korea
15 Copenhagen
Denmark

Source: Mercer Human Resource Consulting, July 2014

The survey covers 211 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.

Mercer's 2014 Cost of Living Rankings, published 10 July 2014, compare the cost of living for expatriates in 211 cities worldwide. Cities are ranked based on data from our annual Cost of Living Survey, the most comprehensive of its kind. The survey helps multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for employees on international assignments. The survey measures the comparative cost of more than 200 goods and services in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.

Business-centric immigration laws for foreign talent
Singapore’s convenient geographic location has made it an ideal hub for foreign talent.

According to the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook in 2011, Singapore has a relatively open labour policy that is business-centric and foreign talent-friendly.

Ranking Country/Region Index
1
Chile 8.00
2
Ireland 7.69
3
Argentina 7.57
4
Portugal 7.52
5
Finland 7.26
6
Hong Kong 7.22
7
Sweden 7.20
8
Spain 7.15
9
Switzerland 7.11
10
Luxembourg 6.90
11
Netherlands 6.77
12
France 6.70
13
Poland 6.55
14
Peru 6.54
15 Iceland
6.44
16 Czech Republic
6.37
17
Canada 6.36
18
Hungary 6.35
19
Belgium 6.31
20
Philippines 6.25
21
New Zealand 6.23
22
United Arab Emirates 6.18
23
Colombia 6.18
24
Italy 6.17
25
Indonesia 6.15
26
United Kingdom 6.14
27
Thailand 6.11
28
Greece 6.11
29
Singapore 6.05
30
Norway 6.05

Source: IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2011

Notes: The higher the score is, the less immigrations laws prevent companies from employing foreign labour.

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