A well established and diversified one of Four Asian Tiger(Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore). In just over four decades, 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.
A key aspect of Singapore’s financial centre is its deep and liquid capital markets. With one of the more well-established capital markets in Asia-Pacific, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) is the preferred listing location of close to 800 global companies. Today, Singapore has grown to be the largest Real Estate Investment Trust (REITs) market in Asia ex-Japan and also provides an extensive offering of investments in business trusts of shipping, aviation and infrastructure assets.
Singapore is a leading provider of services such as international banking, trade finance, maritime finance, insurance, treasury operations, and asset and wealth management within the region. Singapore is the fourth largest foreign exchange trading centre in the world after London, New York and Tokyo.
As one of the top fourth in the world's leading Global financial centres, Singapore is also the second largest over-the- counter derivatives trading centre in Asia, and a leading commodities derivatives trading hub. There are over 121 commercial banks with over 115 foreign banks and 3 representative office of banks in Singapore. All of which play an active role in banking and finance. With total assets under management of around S$1.2 trillion, and which continues to see steady growth, Singapore is also recognized as one of the premier asset management location in Asia.
Companies based in Singapore can tap the diverse capital markets and cutting-edge financial services from more than 500 local and foreign financial institutions here. In addition, there are over 4,500 companies offering professional services, including audit, accounting and management consulting; market research, advertising and public relations; human capital services; and legal services.
Singapore is also fast emerging as an optimal destination for the centralisation of services or “shared services”. Centralising activities such as IT, finance, and logistics, offers benefits such as lower operating costs, consistent service levels and enhanced productivity.
Global businesses will find it advantageous to site their headquarters in Singapore. Strong trade and investment makes Singapore the most competitive Asian country (Global Competitiveness Report 2008). The World Bank also ranks the Republic as the world’s easiest place to do business (Doing Business 2009 report).
By situating their international HQs here, companies benefit from Singapore’s network of over 60 comprehensive Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements. They also gain from Singapore’s many free trade agreements and the 35 Investment Guarantee Agreements. These FTAs have enable Singapore to establish a network to countries that contribute at least 60% of global GDP.
Singapore is regarded as one of the leading Asia Financial Centre. A company will only be on territorial basis if income is accruing in or derived from Singapore or income received in Singapore from outside Singapore. Many Countries levy corporate income tax on different basis and they tax the world-wide profits of business, which includes profits derived from activities outside of the country. Unlike other Asian countries such as Japan, Korea, Thailand,India and China, Singapore does not have any exchange or capital controls which allow funds to flow freely in and out of the territory.
The company is liable to pay tax on income accrued in or derived from Singapore or income received in Singapore from outside Singapore .That means foreign-sourced dividends, branch profits & service income received will only be taxed upon remittance into Singapore. However, tax credit will be granted to all Singapore tax resident company subject to meeting the prescribed conditions. The corporate tax rate is 17% effective from YA 2010.
In order to encourage new company incorporated in Singapore, tax exemption scheme such as Partial tax exemption and tax exemption scheme for new start-up companies are granted by government. In addition, companies will also be granted a 20% CIT rebate or a 5% SME cash grant, whichever is the higher amount effective from YA2011. There are attractive corporate and personal tax rates, tax relief measures, absence of capital gains tax, one-tier tax system, and extensive double tax treaties.
The Official Languages in Singapore are English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil due to multi-races religions. English is the first language of the nation. 80% of Singaporeans are literate in English as either their first or second language. Chinese Mandarin is the next commonly spoken, followed by Malay and Tamil.
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