Why Singapore

Singapore offers financial institutions and FinTechs a pro-business environment, excellent infrastructure, international connectivity, as well as a highly skilled, cosmopolitan labour force.

Singapore at a Glance

A Globally Competitive Economy

#3 globally, #1 in Asia-Pacific, for economic competitiveness
IMD's World Competitiveness Ranking 2022

Singapore ranked 3rd in IMD's World Competitiveness Ranking 2022, with top 10 positions in economic performance, business efficiency and government efficiency.

In terms of digitalisation and innovation parameters, Singapore ranked 1st in IMD’s Smart City Index 2021, 2nd in Asia in World Intellectual Property Organization’s Global Innovation Index 2022, and 4th globally in IMD’s World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2022.

Singapore also ranked 3rd globally in Cushman and Wakefield’s Global Data Center Market Comparison 2023 for its market size, fiber connectivity, and cloud availability.

Overall, Singapore's rule of law, digital friendly environment, high quality infrastructure, excellent digital connectivity, and efforts in adopting technologies efficiently continue to be key strengths of Singapore's competitive economy.

International Connectivity

Over 25 Free Trade Agreement (FTAs)
Over 90 Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs)

Singapore is located at the heart of Southeast Asia and provides excellent global connectivity to serve the fast-growing markets of the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

Singapore has over 25 FTAs which provide access to the markets of the partner countries. We also have over 90 DTAs which are advantageous to financial institutions (FIs) using Singapore as its regional or global hub.

In addition, Singapore is building linkages, including Bilateral Investment Treaties and FinTech Cooperation Agreements, with emerging economies including in the Middle East, Africa and South America.

FIs in Singapore trade around-the-clock with Asia-Pacific centres, as well as European and American centres. This makes Singapore a hub for 24-hour trading in foreign exchange and securities.

Skilled Workforce

#2 globally, #1 in Asia-Pacific, for talent competitiveness
INSEAD's Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2022

Singapore offers a highly skilled labour force – ranking 2nd globally, and 1st in Asia-Pacific in INSEAD's Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2022. Singapore ranked 2nd globally for its ability to attract and grow talent.

MAS works with industry partners as well as universities to build a sustainable pipeline of professionals and leaders in the financial sector. As part of the Financial Services Industry Transformation Map 2025, MAS announced the S$400m Talent and Leaders in Finance Programme which includes initiatives to provide training support for finance professionals at different stages of their careers, develop specialist talent in areas such as sustainability and technology, and develop leaders through opportunities to acquire technical expertise and international exposure. 

Financial institutions can get support for hiring and training, as well as support for workforce transformation, while finance professionals can tap on funding for skills and career development. View programmes and schemes.

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Pro Business Environment

#1 globally for business environment
Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)'s Business Environment Rankings 2022

Ranked 1st in EIU's Business Environment Rankings, Singapore has a conducive environment for business given its regulatory environment, stable and efficient infrastructure to support starting a business, access to financial intermediation and services, and enforcement of contracts.

Office Space

Office space in Singapore remains attractive relative to other financial centres.

Singapore's office space remains competitive and attractive relative to other international financial centres such as Hong Kong, London, and New York.

Singapore ranked 11th in the Jones Lang Lasalle's Global Premium Office Rent Tracker (Q3 2022) and it continues to be cost competitive vis-à-vis other Asian cities.

Singapore possesses strong capabilities across wealth and asset management, foreign exchange and derivatives, insurance and risk financing, fixed income, infrastructure finance, as well as FinTech and innovation.

Find out more about the opportunities and plans that we have to grow your business areas. You may also refer to the Financial Services Industry Transformation 2025.

Setting Up in Singapore

The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) has put together a comprehensive guide on how you can get your operations up and running in the shortest time possible. The guide also includes information on how you can meet your needs around hiring, advisory services, space and utilities, as well as a list of partners offering a range of related services.

For financial services firms who wish to set up in Singapore and navigate Southeast Asia's business landscape, you may refer to the Professional Services Welcome Pack that the Ministry of Law and Enterprise Singapore have co-developed with industry partners. It contains a specially curated digital catalogue of professional services firms with track record in serving companies seeking to expand in the region.

EDB has also compiled critical information you may need to better understand Singapore’s talent landscape as well as tips on how you can build up your workforce. This includes the array of hiring passes and schemes available, and useful resources such as e-guides, digital services, and recruitment partners. To access these resources, you may visit EDB’s website .  

Regulations and Guidance

MAS regulates financial institutions in the banking, capital markets, insurance and payment sectors.

If you intend to conduct regulated activities, find out more about regulations and licensing requirements

Jobs and Skills

MAS works with tripartite partners to build a sustainable pipeline of professionals and leaders in the financial sector. Financial institutions can get support for hiring and training as well as support for workforce transformation, while finance professionals can tap on funding for skills and career development.

View programmes and schemes

Overseas Singaporeans in Finance

Are you a Singaporean working overseas in the Financial Services sector? Are you considering a career move back home? Or interested to connect with others like you who have ventured out? Join the Overseas Singaporeans in Finance LinkedIn Community to stay updated with the latest developments in the Financial Services sector here and tap on a wide range of resources available to explore new career opportunities here and support you may need to return home. Join the community of like-minded individuals to find out more.

Incentive and Grant Schemes 

Financial institutions with plans to set up or expand their operations in Singapore may apply for MAS tax incentives or grant schemes.

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