Exporting guide to Singapore
Ease of doing business
You can set up a new business in a matter of hours. Singapore has a stable government, strong rule of law and effective regulatory system.
Common business environment with the UK
The UK and Singapore share a common language and have strong historical ties. Both economies have similar business and legal practices and share similar technical standards.
Gateway to Asia Pacific
Singapore’s location makes it a gateway to South East Asia and Asia Pacific. It is the UK’s largest trading partner in South East Asia (ONS, 2021), making it a good place from which to seek business opportunities in the wider region.
Singapore: at a glance
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Opportunities for exporters
There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Singapore have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.
Singapore’s government is building Singapore into a Smart Financial Centre. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is a member of the Global Financial Innovation Network and provides incentives for investing in FinTech and financial innovation. The MAS hosts the FinTech Regulatory Sandbox, provides opportunities to experiment with innovative financial products and solutions in a live but controlled environment.
Green and sustainable finance
The MAS is promoting a green financial ecosystem through Project Greenprint. Financial institutions and tech players have the opportunity to collaborate to pilot solutions that enable firms to access green financing options, use data to monitor better commitments to green standards, and use technology to measure the impact of sustainable investments and loans.
Asset management centre
Singapore is a leading regional hub for asset management, providing the opportunity to source and access APAC investment opportunities. There are over 800 registered and licensed fund managers in Singapore. The launch of the Variable Capital Companies (VCC) framework in 2020 encourages fund managers to domicile their investment which creates opportunities in the asset management sector.
Strong government support
The Singapore government encourages the country’s digitalisation and adoption of new technologies. The government has rolled out major programmes like Smart Nation Singapore that encourages digitalisation of government processes and services. Singapore has also established organisations, like AI Singapore and SG Innovate, to support continued sector growth and development.
Ideal base for regional operations
Singapore is considered to be a world-class technology hub in Asia, making it a good base for companies as a springboard into the region. The country continues to attract established international technology companies, creating a rich environment for opportunities and collaboration.
Singapore is an early adopter consumer market
Singapore is adopting next-generation technologies like AI, machine learning, IoT, Smart Cities, and 5G. This is creating opportunities for UK companies looking for a market for high tech products.
Links to UK on transport planning
Singapore looks to the UK for ideas and solutions across master-planning, consulting, and engineering. Opportunities are typified as large value in the region of £27 million per project (Datahub Average).
UK supply chain
The UK supply chain is represented by many established brands present in the market who continue to bid, engage, and win work with Singapore agencies such as the Land Transport Authority (LTA), Urban Redevelopment Agency (URA), Public Utilities Board (PUB), and Changi Airport Group (CAG).
Decarbonisation of infrastructure
The UK leads in front-end consulting services on master-planning and strategy. Expertise in transport, planning, consulting, design and delivery, and sustainability provides UK firms with opportunities to present and lead on the decarbonisation of infrastructure. Singapore is focusing its research efforts on climate change, decarbonisation, healthy cities, and the built environment (The Straits Times, 2021).
New healthcare projects by the Singapore government include 8 hospital specialist centres, 15 polyclinics and primary care facilities, and 11 nursing homes (Ministry of Health, 2021). An assisted living model in public housing is also being implemented in phases by 2023 to better meet the needs of the ageing population (CNA, 2021).
Technology and innovation
Along with demographic shifts and societal changes, Singapore’s healthcare system continues to progress and evolve to meet the demands of its population. The Singapore government is adopting and developing technology to improve patient care, increase productivity and make its healthcare system future-ready and sustainable for the long term (Ministry of Health, 2021).
A quarter of the population, around 900,000, will be over 65 by 2030 (Ministry of Health, 2019). 10% are predicted to develop dementia (SingHealth, 2021). Opportunities for products and services exist in elder care, telehealth and remote monitoring, AI and Robotics, integrated care, and ageing in place.
Number of maritime businesses
More than 5,000 maritime businesses and establishments call Singapore home (Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, 2021). Shipyards focus on ship repair and conversion, alongside the construction of specialised vessels. Singapore also has a growing maritime services sector, including ship management, agency, finance, insurance, broking, and surveying.
The Maritime Singapore Green Initiative promotes the decarbonisation of shipping across four programmes: ships, ports, energy and tech, and awareness. With incentives provided to adopt green shipping practices, maritime companies in Singapore are seeking new and innovative solutions.
Singapore is actively seeking digital solutions to drive productivity. Trials for electronic bills of lading initiatives are being undertaken. Tech solutions for bunkering is also a focus on the digitalisation of the bunker purchase and delivery process and documentations, including the bunker delivery note.