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Singapore – Labour policies unattractive to businesses

31 January 2013

According to a new survey by Bloomberg, Singapore has emerged as the eighth best country in the world for business in 2013. But its regional rival, Hong Kong, has maintained its top ranking for the second year, while the United States and Japan came in second and third place.

The survey looked at over 160 countries and their attraction to businesses, including indicators such as labour costs, economic development and labour policies.

Singapore has improved its overall standing by a notch when compared to 2012. An analysis by Singapore company formation specialist, Rikvin, said a number of factors have contributed to the improved results.  

“In spite of its weaknesses, Singapore has consistently managed to attract business activity because of its transportation and logistics efficiencies, strong intellectual property rights regulations, low corruption perception index, and relatively low costs of setting up a Singapore company. Altogether, these factors make for a reliable and safe place to do business,” said Christine Lim, general manager of Rikvin.

Tighter labour policies have, however, had a negative impact. “The series of stricter foreign manpower policies that were effected last year play a role as well. These policies have made the process of procuring a Singapore work visa more selective and costlier, thereby resulting in higher hiring costs for Singapore companies amid a tight labor market and instructions to improve productivity.

“In the meantime, and despite stricter regulations, we are optimistic that Singapore will not close its doors entirely to highly-skilled and talented individuals who can add value to the economy,” said Ms Lim. 


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