The business end
Second only to Monaco as the world’s most densely populated country, Singapore often tops the list as one of best places to do business. The world’s only island city-state continues to strengthen its name in this regard as one of the world’s leading financial centres thanks to its low tax regime, stable Government and highly educated, affluent population.
Recently named as the world’s most expensive city by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU), the financial powerhouse is now home to more than 120 banks and almost 500 trading companies and funds, and continues to retain its title as the only Asian country with an AAA sovereign credit rating.
Since independence from Malaysia in 1965, extensive land reclamation has seen the Lion City increase the sovereign state’s total size by 23 percent – or 130 square kilometres
– as well as develop an urban biodiversity conservation model through a greening policy. The result is an enchanting Garden City neatly intertwined with a spotless, modern city centre, densely populated with a uniquely rich diasporic population.
A smorgasbord of multinational giants such as Shell, Microsoft, Unilever, Singapore Airlines, Barclays, GlaxoSmithKline are all housed in the city state, having placed emphasis on Singapore’s access to world-class tech, sound financial policies and subsequent investor confidence emanating across its core industries including oil & gas and manufacturing.
Of course it is difficult to talk about Singapore without mentioning the spectacular F1 night race at Marina Bay Street Circuit, which, now in its ninth year, hugely contributes to the country’s tourism influx; with last year’s event bringing in a total of more than 260,000 spectators over the three-day weekend.
The country’s ability to facilitate the upfront investments and organise the construction of the temporary infrastructure required for the street race each year epitomises the balance of live-work-play that is adhered to by Singaporean culture. Thanks to this, local hotels continue to reap higher occupancies yearon-year and, in the long-term, the event has become a catalyst for further industrial and economic development thanks to a rising GDP; firmly positioning Singapore as the ultimate business and leisure destination in Southeast Asia.