Singapore: A Brief Outline

The Republic of Singapore lies just off the coast of Malaysia and has for years acted as a bridge between the east and the west. For such a small island, it has a considerable reputation for business strength and acumen and provides a wealth of business opportunities as a result of its investment in human resources and state-of-the-art infrastructure.

There are four official languages in Singapore: English, Malay, Chinese (Mandarin), and Tamil. English is the most common, particularly when it comes to talking business.

For most foreign nationals no visa is required, only a Social Visit Pass, which is issued on arrival, provided the traveler holds a valid passport, sufficient funds to cover stay in Singapore, confirmed onward/return tickets and entry documentation for further destinations.


Major Investment Opportunities

  • Machinery and equipment, incl. electronics;
  • Consumer goods;
  • Chemicals and mineral fuels;
  • Foodstuffs;
  • Business Services.


Five Tips For a Successful Venture in Singapore
  • Build up a network of contacts in Singapore and get to know the players in the market before you jump in;
  • If you want to ship or store goods and materials in Singapore, bear in mind that your company will have to either appoint a local partner or distributor;
  • Visit the country before you start your business venture - Singapore has an open and efficient immigration system that is aimed at making it easy for foreigners to visit the country and look for business opportunities;
  • Compromise is an important part of negotiations in Singapore;
  • Don't assume that easy success elsewhere in the region with lead to the same in Singapore. This is a very unique business environment, complicated by a multi-ethnic population that will require some fairly intensive market research and business planning.


Legislation Relevant to Investors
  • The Sale of Goods Act lays down specific rules relating to the sale of goods;
  • The Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act defines what actions are considered "unfair practices" and legal remedies for the consumer;
  • The requirements for registration of a Singapore Branch Office of a foreign company are prescribed by Singapore Companies Act;
  • In July 2005, the government relaxed certain restrictions on foreign ownership of real estate. Under the Residential Property Act, foreigners are allowed to purchase condominiums or any unit within a building of six or more levels without the need to obtain prior approval from the Singapore Land Authority;
  • Section 44 of the Broadcasting Act restricts foreign equity ownership of companies broadcasting to the Singapore domestic market to 49 percent or less;
  • The Competition Act promotes healthy competitive markets by prohibiting certain business practices that restrict competition in the market. When providing or promoting goods and services, you must not engage in price fixing, bid rigging, predatory pricing and other acts that restrict or distort competition;
  • The main laws that protect intellectual property in Singapore are:
  • Patents Act (Cap. 221) Trade Marks Act 1999 (Cap. 332) Registered Designs Act (Cap. 266) Copyright Act (Cap. 63)


Singapore & Vietnam Useful links

Singapore Official Portal
Singapore Legal System
Law Practices in Singapore
Living & Working in Singapore
Singapore Business Community
Business Culture in Singapore
Visit Singapore
Study in Singapore
Flights to Vietnam from Singapore
Vietnam Embassy in Singapore
Find a Vietnamese Translator in Singapore


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