Over the last four decades, Singapore has achieved enviable
economic progress. Today, the city-state is a reputable financial center, a key
regional trading center, one of the world’s busiest ports and a top location
Singapore offers a pro-business environment, advanced
infrastructure, world-class connectivity, highly trained people and a young
working and consumer population.
Leading surveys have consistently ranked Singapore as one of
the most competitive nations and best places for business in the world. In a
2010 World Bank-IFC report, Singapore was ranked as the world’s easiest place
to do business and is the second most open economy in the world (according to
the 2009 Index of Economic Freedom). Singapore has also consistently been ranked
as one of the five least corrupt countries in the world and the least corrupt
nation in Asia by Transparency International.
Singapore has entered into landmark free trade agreements
(FTAs) with ASEAN, the United States, Australia, the European Free Trade
Association (Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland), New Zealand,
India, China, South Korea, Japan, Peru, Costa Rica, the Trans-Pacific SEP
(Brunei, New Zealand and Chile), the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Panama and
the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (Kuwait, Oman, Qatar,
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates). It is currently
negotiating FTAs with Canada, Mexico, Pakistan and Ukraine.
A significant amount of venture capital funding has been
attracted into Singapore and is managed by a host of fund management companies
schemes and incentives
To further foster
entrepreneurship and innovation in Singapore, the EDB has a range of schemes
and incentives designed to help new ventures over initial funding hurdles,
obtain government co-funding, enjoy tax breaks for investors and support for
entrepreneurs seeking investors. These include:
- the Business Angel Scheme
- the i.MATCH Programme
- the Startup Enterprise Development Scheme.
The Singapore government committed S$13.55 billion
(approximately US$10 billion) on R&D activities in the period 2006–10 (a
more than 200 per cent increase from the previous five-year period). The government
has also established several research institutions, with competence in areas
such as biotechnology, microelectronics, manufacturing technologies, materials
and chemical sciences.