Southeast Asia has quietly become a major trade destination for international businesses. It isn’t hard to see why.
The region is currently growing faster than any other in the world, with many analysts projecting it to become the fourth largest economic zone globally. With a diverse number of nations, industries and cultures, Southeast Asia and its accompanying trade organization (ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nation) are catching the attention of businesses across the globe.
But, as wealthy and diverse as these countries are, many business people may find it difficult to enter. Without a personal connection or experience in the region, international businesses can find themselves at a loss for an entry point.
This is where Singapore comes in.
The island nation is often called the “gateway” to Southeast Asia, and is lauded for its relationship to ASEAN nations. Many international businesses work with Singapore as a way into the larger region. Though a great trading partner and end in itself, Singapore’s connection to the region in terms of business and trade is undeniable.
Many international businesses work with Singapore as a way into the larger region. Though a great trading partner and end in itself, Singapore’s connection to the region in terms of business and trade is undeniable
But, why does Singapore grant entry to Southeast Asia, and how?
We wanted to give your international business the information and tools to fully utilize what Singapore has to offer, both domestically and regionally. With that in mind, here are the three reasons why Singapore is your ticket into Southeast Asia.
1. Location, Location, Location
Singapore’s location makes it a prime area for those looking to ship or fly goods into and out of Southeast Asia.
The island nation finds itself at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, and Malaysia itself. Singapore is centrally located between major Southeast Asian nations, including Indonesia to the west, Vietnam and Thailand to the north, and the Philippines to the east.
Its central location has allowed Singapore to become a major hub in shipping between all regional and many international players. Singapore is currently Asia’s main transhipment hub, and is the world’s busiest port in terms of shipping tonnage. The airport sees a lot of this freight as well, making the Changi in the Eastern part of the island a major component to heightened international dealings.
Establishing a presence in both ports places your business at the center of Southeast Asian trade. In this way, Singapore acts as a gateway to other regional nations, but is also a vital partner in accessing them.
2. They Want You!
Speaking of geography, it’s no secret that Singapore is quite a small country. Once being a part of much larger Malaysia, the island still relies on support from many nations to develop its economy.
Singapore’s small, resource-poor economy necessitates a continuing policy of globalization and regionalization, says the Ministry of Communications and Information. The Ministry also calls for the nation to remain an open economy, and to avoid protectionism and nationalism at all costs. Globalization is the way that the Singaporean will survive, and thrive.
The Ministry goes on to note the importance of strengthening international trade and investment cooperation, building networks to facilitate innovation, and acquiring deeper knowledge of regional and global markets.
These governmental initiatives mean great things for businesses within and without the ASEAN. Especially considering Singapore’s free trade agreement with the US, the government and its population are always keen to learn from and trade with our businesses.
According to a recent study by Google, Southeast Asia is expected to become the fastest growing internet market in the world.
As a result, the ecommerce market looks to expand 32% by 2050. With the remainder of the world increasingly buying into online industries, Southeast Asia will be a major region to watch out for when working with the Wweb.
Once again, Singapore is the key to this booming business.
As ecommerce continues to grow in the region, many firms are expected to support the sector through headquarters in Singapore. The nation’s thriving financial district, Raffles Place, is already home to many Southeast Asian companies’ hubs. Much of this ecommerce flows through the Singaporean banking system, then, making it not only the physical entry point to the region, but the virtual and economic one as well.
The nation’s thriving financial district, Raffles Place, is already home to many Southeast Asian companies’ hubs
As companies’ finances gravitate to the Singaporean gateway, international businesses will need a cost-effective, and sure-fire way to send payments to their Southeast Asian suppliers.
With Veem, your business-to-business payments are sent and received quickly, safely, and with no hidden fees. We verify your supplier, take care of foreign exchange at half the cost of your bank, and allow you to track your payments through our easy-to-use dashboard.