Located off the south of the Malay Peninsula, Singapore is an island measuring 710 sq km, with state of the art communications and world class infrastructure. Most of the major financial institutions, banks, law and accountancy firms have a presence in Singapore. It is one of the top global financial centres of the world. Singapore has consistently been rated by the Corruptions Perceptions Index as among the top ten least corrupt countries in the world and the least corrupt country in Asia.
To date, it has concluded free trade agreements (‘FTA’) among others with major economies including the United States, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, India and Jordon. These FTAs provide privileged access to the markets of partner countries. Beyond Asia, Singapore is also building links with countries further afield including the Middle East, capitalising on the growing trade and investment interests between the two regions. It is also in the OECD ‘white list’ of jurisdictions that have implemented the internationally agreed tax standard.
Despite her small size and lack of natural resources, Singapore ranks among the most competitive economies in the world. Singapore has succeeded because of its political stability; honest and competent government; competitive economy; educated workforce; meritocratic society; strong social fabric and strong defence capability which has ensured the security and sovereignty of the country.
The legal system in Singapore is based on British Common Law. Judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court. The High Court exercises original criminal and civil jurisdiction in serious cases as well as appellate jurisdiction from subordinate courts. Its Chief Justice and Judges are appointed by the President of Singapore. The Court of Appeal hears appeals from the High Court.
Singapore has an excellent infrastructure and efficient air, ground and sea transport systems. Singapore is a free port with no customs or exercise duties on most items. Singapore is one of the leading international financial centres and its government constantly provides generous tax and financial incentives to attract foreign investments. There are many types of government assistance for new business start-ups and existing businesses that intend to operate within Singapore or internationally.
Singapore has established a thriving financial centre of international repute, serving not only its domestic economy, but also the wider Asia Pacific region and in some instances, the world. Singapore's financial centre offers a broad range of financial services including banking, insurance, investment banking and treasury services. With one of the more well-established capital markets in Asia-Pacific, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) is a preferred listing location.
Singapore's bond market has also grown significantly, with an extensive range of both Singapore government securities and foreign corporate bonds available. Singapore offers fixed income investors a wide range of investment opportunities. Singapore's corporate tax rate is one of the lowest in the Asia Pacific at 17%. A lower corporate tax rate may apply under certain tax exemptions and incentives.
Taxation is based on a territorial and remittance basis, unless specifically exempt from tax. Singapore also offers the advantage of having Double Taxation Agreements with more than 60 countries. In addition, it continues to be cost competitive compared with other major cities.
Singapore offers a skilled workforce to meet industry demand. In addition to grooming the local workforce meet the demand of the industry, Singapore also has an open door policy to international talent and expertise.
Singapore is a thriving cosmopolitan city that's brimming with diversity and has a multiplicity of culture, language, arts and architecture. English is the common language of Singapore's multi-ethnic population and one of the four official languages that also includes Malay, Mandarin Chinese and Tamil. Singapore has many attractions to offer to visitors: from numerous nature parks to museums, colonial monuments and buildings, theme parks, night clubs, gaming, food to entertainment.