Known as one of the most business-friendly countries in the world, the Garden City has long maintained its robust infrastructure with an economy that is constantly growing. But many people don’t know that Singapore’s success comes from its connectivity.
The country has strong business connections with the rest of the world, and this helps to drive its growth. According to the 2019 World Bank annual ratings, the country ranks second among 190 economies in terms of ease of doing business.
So, how can a country maintain its business connectivity? Here are some ideas you can get from Lion City.
Openness to foreign investment
Business connections are essential for any country’s economic development, and foreign investments are crucial to attracting it. Many countries have been prosperous in this regard, attracting more growth than they could have without good foreign direct investment (FDI).
According to a study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), there is a strong link between a country’s level of trade openness and the amount of FDI it receives. In other words, the more FDI a country has, the more expansion it tends to attract.
That’s why striving for investors is essential for countries like Singapore, which has attracted a lot of FDI. In 2018, the city-state ranked as the world’s top destination for FDI, according to consultancy firm EY.
A country’s infrastructure is one of the most critical factors in sustaining its business connections. Good infrastructure helps businesses to operate smoothly and efficiently, which in turn attracts more investment.
So, it is no coincidence that Singapore, a country with an excellent infrastructure, ranks high in business ease. The government has been investing heavily in digital connectivity. In 2017, it launched a nationwide 5G network to have all buildings and public transportation be 5G-enabled by 2025.
The country is also working on cutting-edge technologies such as driverless vehicles and artificial intelligence (AI). These initiatives will further improve the efficiency of businesses in the country and maintain its status as a top business destination. So, other countries can learn from Singapore when investing in infrastructure.
Great business leaders
In a place like Singapore, you’ll find many great business leaders. They have the experience and networks to help you expand your business and connect with the right people.
One such leader is Neo Kian Hong. He is the current chief executive officer of SMRT, Singapore’s most prominent public transportation company. Before that, he was the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Education.
Under his leadership, SMRT has further grown into a world-class business. The company has been able to win international awards and accolades, such as the prestigious Most Improved Line from the Land Transport Excellence Awards in 2018.
Aside from Mr. Hong, other notable business leaders in Singapore include Ho Ching, the CEO of Temasek Holdings, and Danny Teoh, the chairman of Keppel Corporation.
A conducive environment
Singapore’s government has always been supportive of businesses. The country provides a conducive environment for businesses to start and grow. For instance, the government has been working on initiatives to help small businesses.
In 2017, it launched the SME Go Digital Programme to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in their digital transformation journey. The program provides SMEs with subsidies and support to adopt digital solutions.
The government has also been providing training and mentorship programs for entrepreneurs. These programs aim to develop the skills of entrepreneurs and help them grow their businesses. With the government’s support, companies in the country can thrive and expand.
Countries need to have up-to-date regulations to sustain their business connections. Businesses are constantly evolving, and outdated laws can stifle their growth.
Singapore has been proactive in this area. The country regularly reviews its laws and regulations to ensure they are well-aligned with the latest developments in the business world.
For instance, in 2021, the country updated its data protection law to reflect the changing landscape of data privacy better. The new law provides greater clarity on the rights of individuals concerning their data.
It also imposes stricter penalties on businesses that violate data protection rules. These changes show that Singapore is serious about protecting the interests of consumers and businesses. This, in turn, will help to maintain the country’s good reputation as a business destination.
The above are some reasons why Singapore has strong business connections. The country has a well-developed infrastructure, a supportive government, and experienced business leaders. These factors have helped the country attract foreign investment and sustain its economic growth.
In this regard, it’s unsurprising that Singapore gets often ranked as one of the world’s top business destinations.