Despite the pessimistic outlook for the year, at least one sector of Singapore’s economy expects a recovery.
According to 71% of local companies, Singapore’s economic climate deteriorated in 2020, and 57% believe that this trend will continue in the coming year, according to a study conducted by the Singapore Business Federation. Domestic trade will decline and export prospects are highly dependent on the industry.
However, the IT industry stands out against them. The telecommunications market will be revived by the emergence of a new player, TPG Telecom, the fourth telecom company licensed in Singapore. Although it will not start providing services until 2020, the other three operators – M1, Singtel, and StarHub – will surely use this year to increase their competitive advantage. For example, to offer customers more attractive service packages and innovative services.
In addition, Singapore was one of the first countries in the world to begin testing unmanned aerial vehicles and, in order to consolidate its leadership, it must pay particular attention to security issues for a long list of IT companies in Singapore.
According to the OECD’s annual ranking, Singapore’s students receive the best secondary education. They ranked first in all three disciplines – mathematics, reading, and science. The second was shared by Hong Kong and Japan.
How Singapore became an ideal country for IT professionals?
Technology companies need to look for the best specialists around the world and it is important to gather them in a place where everyone is equally well.
World rankings of the best countries for doing business have criteria that may dominate over time, lose their importance, or no longer be considered. For example, for the first time in ten years, the stock market indicators criterion was removed from the Forbes 2020 rating. Instead, categories of labor force assessment, market size, political risks, and others have been added. But the innovative criterion will always be the key one. Innovative breakthroughs can take place in world-famous universities, multinational IT corporations, and startups. Theoretically, there is a large number of people with academic degrees in science, and in IT, there are a lot of highly qualified specialists with good technical skills. But in practice, the most important technologies, as well as scientific discoveries, are made by units. China, for example, is the world’s largest producer of doctoral dissertations and produces more than 55 thousand PhDs annually. But one Einstein has done more for the world in a year than all these scientists in all their years of research.
Everything for work
For foreign professionals from priority areas such as IT, obtaining a work permit in Singapore – Employment Pass (EP) – does not take much time. Wives of work visa holders receive a document with which they can stay in the country if they wish to find work and also receive an Employment Pass. After two years in Singapore, work visa holders are eligible to apply for permanent residence and/or Singapore citizenship. Singapore’s passport is recognized as the strongest passport in the world – strength is calculated on the basis of the number of countries to which the passport holder can enter either without a visa or with visa issuance at the airport of arrival (159 in the case of Singapore). And two years of residence in the country required for the right to apply for citizenship is one of the lowest naturalization periods in the world.
There are 5.6 million people in Singapore – 3.9 million residents and 1.7 million foreigners, 1.4 million of whom work. In other words, more than a third of the workforce in the country is foreign. It is easier for foreign specialists in Singapore than in any other country to adapt to work and life. The country’s city-state constantly leads in the quality of life indicator, which is assessed by the social, transport, information, technological, energy, and cultural and entertainment components. Singapore is well organized, and this is the strongest argument – the rational use of time by top professionals is directly linked to their effectiveness.
A good keen pro works about 60 hours a week: 11 every weekday and five more at the weekend. If he saves about an hour a day, that’s 10% more time used rationally. Imagine how important 10% of your winnings in a dynamic Formula 1 sport are – the technology business is no less competitive. Any situation where time is spent on delays associated with the poor organization of city services, services, affect business – it provokes delays in meetings, postponing important events, creating personal and collective inefficiencies. All services in Singapore are well synchronized – there are no long bureaucratic procedures, public and personal transport system works well, parking is available, arrivals and departures flow and luggage withdrawal at the airport are organized correctly automated passport control. All this saves time compared to other cities and countries, and this efficiency itself activates, increasing the productivity of a valuable and highly paid specialist.
Singapore has good conditions for doing business and has a very effective taxation system: large taxes are paid on large expenses, and taxes on wages are relatively low. It has become the norm for people of the new generation to live in small comfortable apartments, to get along with convenient and compact transport, and to feel comfortable. So if earning a lot, a person decides not to spend a lot, it is very effective not to pay large taxes and make savings. Singapore also has one of the most effective pension insurance systems in the world.