Ms Thong Leng Yeng, Executive Director, MAS, spoke on MAS’ plans for developing future-ready talent for Singapore’s wealth management sector.
#1 most competitive economy
#2 in the world for ease of doing business
#1 in Asia-Pacific, #2 Globally, for talent competitiveness
#2 most connected country
#4 most competitive financial centre
#1 in Asia-Pacific, #2 Globally, for digital competitiveness
Located at the heart of Southeast Asia, Singapore is well placed to serve the fast-growing markets of the Asia-Pacific region. Financial institutions in Singapore also trade around-the-clock with Asia-Pacific centres, as well as European and American centres, making Singapore a significant hub for 24-hour trading in foreign exchange and securities. International travel is equally convenient. Singapore has grown to be a strategic link and important gateway for global investors.
Singapore remains connected to growth markets, not just in Asia but also beyond. Singapore has concluded bilateral with major economies, including the United States, European Union, China, Japan, India, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Switzerland. Singapore is also part of a number of multilateral FTAs, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, GCC-Singapore FTA and ASEAN FTAs with some of the key ASEAN Dialogue Partners. These FTAs provide privileged access to the markets of partner countries.
Singapore is also building linkages, including through Bilateral Investment Treaties and FinTech Cooperation Agreements, with countries further a-field including the Middle East, Africa and South America, given the growing trade and investment interests in emerging economies.
Singapore has long been recognised as one of the best cities for business. This is what a World Bank report had to say about doing business in Singapore:
- It takes an entrepreneur just over 6 working days to get a new business going in Singapore, with low start-up costs. Overall, taking into account other factors, including business licensing, taxes, credit legal rights and investor protection, Singapore has about the most business-friendly regulation in the world.
Investors have also come to appreciate the high levels of transparency and reliability in business, economic and regulatory affairs in Singapore. A stable political structure with parliamentary democracy, a well-established judicial system, and the presence of strong domestic institutions with good corporate governance practices, have made the Singapore business environment even more attractive to global investors.
Singapore remains highly cost competitive compared with other major financial centres.
Financial institutions benefit from Singapore’s world-class infrastructure and connectivity. Singapore has built on its advantageous geographical location to become one of the world’s top trading and transportation hubs. Located right in the middle of the Asian timezone, Singapore maintains excellent connectivity and proximity to major Asian economies.
Financial institutions in Singapore can also tap on our extensive network of free trade agreements and Comprehensive Avoidance of . Our network of DTAs with more than 80 jurisdictions works to the advantage of any financial institution using Singapore as its regional or global hub.
The availability of a large pool of finance professionals in Singapore is a key reason why global financial institutions operate here, and use Singapore as a regional or global hub. We continue to attract top talent and expertise from overseas. At the same time, MAS works closely with our tripartite partners to build the pipeline of finance professionals and leaders.
Singapore’s labour regulations and workforce have consistently been rated highly by leading international organisations such as the World Economic Forum and Washington-based risk consultancy agency, Business Environment Risk Intelligence (BERI).
In its response to a forum letter on the Payments Regulatory Evaluation Programme (PREP), MAS and the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) clarified the selection of law firms, which represents a cross section of the legal industry. MAS and SAL have already invited all interested law firms to join the pilot on 10 September 2019.
MAS announced today that Singapore’s average daily foreign exchange (FX) trading volume reached a new high of US$633 billion in April 2019, up 22% from US$517 billion in April 2016. Singapore retains its position as one of the largest FX centres globally – ranked third with a 7.6% share of global FX volume in April 2019.
In response to two forum letters in the Straits Times on digital banks, MAS said it agrees that it is important that the public understands the differences between the new digital banks and existing banks in Singapore. MAS said digital banks need to meet the same regulatory standards as existing banks.
An additional 2 million pieces of the Singapore Bicentennial $20 commemorative notes are available for exchange. Online application is from 16 September until 13 October at go.gov.sg/mas. Successful applicants will be notified by 3 November 2019.