By Alan Bennet - Equiom Group’s Head of Governance, Risk & Compliance in Singapore
Things have moved on quite a bit since my last article “Expansion into Asia” in December last year. Whilst the Ministry of Trade and Industry may have revised their growth forecast for this year, the revision is only down from 3-5% to 3-4%, which is still a very positive message at a time when the global economy is facing such significant headwinds.
The Ministry reported that the Singapore economy had grown 4.4% on a year-on-year basis in the second quarter of 2022, accelerating from the 3.8% growth in Q1. This is due in part to Singapore’s non-oil exports growing steadily and healthily at just over 9%.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivered a positive and well-received National Day message citing the further relaxation of the country’s Covid 19 restrictions. Singapore’s tough stance on Covid has paid dividends, and the country’s economy has emerged strongly from the pandemic.
To further support the positive message from the Prime Minister’s office, the Government announced a new program designed specifically to attract top professional talent from abroad. Under the existing Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) employers must search locally for at least 4 weeks when hiring new staff. This new initiative will halve that time and enable firms to search for talent abroad that much sooner. Alongside the introduction of a new five-year Employment Pass targeting high earning professionals, the message could not be clearer, Singapore remains open for business!
These new measures will reassure investors that Singapore remains the place to be and, by deepening the talent pool from across the globe, this will in turn create a diverse and well-balanced workforce that can support Singapore’s growth ambitions.
These announcements are well-timed with the Singapore Business Show at the end of September and the Singapore FinTech Festival in early November. Both are designed to advertise existing firms and attract new firms into the country. With these new initiatives and trade shows, the Singapore Government are positioning themselves for even stronger growth in 2023. These Fast-Track programs will help reassure foreign firms who have been thinking about global expansion and encourage them to take their first steps toward fulfilling their plans to locate their business in Singapore.
Having helped several large institutions realise their own growth plans in Singapore already, Equiom are well positioned to assist. Why not discover more for yourselves, and give me a call to chat further? Singapore is certainly the place to be!
Alan Bennet is Equiom Group’s Head of Governance, Risk & Compliance in Singapore.
This article has been carefully prepared, but it has been written in general terms and should be seen as broad guidance only. The article cannot be relied upon to cover specific situations and you should not act, or refrain from acting, upon the information contained therein without obtaining specific professional advice. Please contact Equiom to discuss these matters in the context of your particular circumstance. Equiom Group, its partners, employees, and agents do not accept or assume any liability or duty of care for any loss arising from any action taken or not taken by anyone in reliance on the information in this article or for any decision based on it.
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