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UK Firms Head To Singapore For Business Expansion

More UK companies are heading to Singapore to set up branches and new enterprises, according to a report from the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) agency.

UKTI, a government arm for investments, said that companies from the technology, architecture and design and transportation field are looking into expanding in Asia. The said industries are currently emerging markets in the region, which British business entities would want to take advantage of.

Singapore is currently listed on the UKTI’s list of High Growth Markets. Singapore also enjoys the status as being UK’s largest trading partner in Asia and largest export market globally, outside Europe. Last year, UK to Singapore exports have reached SG $7.13 billion, an 11 percent increase from the results in 2010.

The development comes at a time when the European debt crisis is getting much worse, forcing UK companies to look for greener pastures elsewhere. Being a long-established trading partner, Singapore is no doubt a good jump-off point for UK business ventures in the region.

Over 700 UK companies are currently operating in Singapore. One of these companies is UK electronics bigwig Dyson, which recently established a research and development facility in Singapore. Dyson pours around SG $ 2 million weekly into its R&D facility.

A number of UK companies have also contributed to building Singapore’s multi-billion dollar eco-tourism project, Gardens by the Bay. Grant Associates, a well-known British design team, won the Singapore government’s bid for designing the said attraction.

Singapore’s reputation as a global finance and tourism hub has made it the premier destination for companies in the West that are looking to further their growth in the Asian region. Aside from its world-class amenities and high standard of living, Singapore’s proximity to other emerging markets makes it an attractive option for UK companies looking to start enterprises eastward. Singapore’s corporate tax rate is also relatively low as compared to other business destinations in Asia such as Japan and Hong Kong.