This post is also available in: 简体中文 (Chinese (Simplified))

Doing Business in Singapore VS Austria


Most Powerful & Industrially Developed Countries

Austria, officially known as the Republic of Austria is a country in the European Union landlocked by other countries on all sides. The country is located right in the center of the European continent and shares its border with Germany and Czech Republic in the North and in the east it is surrounded by Slovakia and Hungary. On the south it is bordered by Italy and Slovenia and on the west it is surrounded by Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Vienna is the capital city of Austria and is also the largest city in the country. From the economic point of view Austria is considered to be one the most powerful and industrially developed countries in the world. The country has one of the richest economies in the European Union and the residents of the country enjoy very high standards of living.

With a significantly large population of 8,356,707, Austria represents a huge market base. Foreign investors can take advantage of this since they can exploit the market and cater to a huge audience. After successful accession negotiations and a national referendum, in which two-thirds of the Austrian population voted in favor of joining the EU, Austria formally became an EU member state on January 1, 1995 together with Sweden and Finland. Since Austria joined the European Union in 1995, the country’s real gross domestic product (GDP) has increased by about 9.7%. Also, some 13,000 additional jobs have been created each year, whereas foreign direct investment has tripled, Austria’s exports could be more than doubled from the original level of EUR 33 billion. Thanks to Austria’s membership in the European Union, not only can all the benefits of the single market be exploited, but the country’s role as a crossroads between North and South, East and West provides strategic advantages for companies involved in international trade. Experienced Austrian freight forwarding companies, and excellent transportation links via road, rail, inland waterway and air ensure good logistics.


World-Class Destination For Foreign Investment

Apart from its ideal geographical location, Austria has the additional advantage that it serves as a centre for a large number of service companies with outstanding Central & East European know-how. Austria has great potential for foreign investment in different sectors. Although most of the sectors provide healthy return on capitals invested, foreign investors can gain maximum returns in certain sectors. One of the most promising sectors that can yield tremendous returns is the banking and transport sector. These sectors have greatly contributed to the economic development of Austria.

According to the statistics provided by the Austrian government officials about 60% of the Total GDP comes from the banking sector. Thus, there is huge potential for foreign investors to explore these sectors. Agriculture and allied industries have also been one of the most contributing sectors to the Austrian exchequer. Austria is also known for its dairy products and the industry has huge potential for investments. Austria has world class cattle and foreign investors in food processing and packaging of food products. The Austrian government has a liberal outlook towards foreign investment. It provides several grants to foreign investors investing in the country. The grants are mainly in terms of tax exemption on capital gains, establishment of industrial premises. Austria is a world-class destination for foreign investment.


Favorable Demographics & A Growing Economy

Singapore, meanwhile,is well known in the investment community for its trade and financial sectors. By 2025, CLSA forecasts that the country will overtake Switzerland and handle nearly a third of the world’s agri-commodity trade. The country’s robust financial markets have also become a key source of funding for a total market of 4 billion people within a seven-hour flight radius. Singapore has one of the world’s richest populations, very favorable demographics and a growing economy, but investors should be aware that its focus on trade leads to some level of economic dependence on global foreign trade.

Singapore has the third highest income per capita in the world, the largest concentration of millionaires, and one of the lowest unemployment rates among developed countries. It is also widely considered to be one of the easiest countries in the world in which to conduct business, with very favorable tax rates, low corruption, a skilled workforce and advanced infrastructure. Singapore’s economy is heavily dependent on foreign trade, which led to a contraction during the 2001 bubble and 2008 financial crisis, but the country was quick to rebound, growing 14.5% by 2010.


Offering Better Support To Foreign Investors

To see exactly why Singapore is a preferred business location compared to other Asian countries, is suffices to say that compared to China, India and Japan three of the strongest economies in the region, the city-state offers incentives targeted to specific industries and foreign investors can apply directly with the Government for them. When compared to similar countries like Malaysia and Hong Kong, Singapore has the great advantage of offering better support to foreign investors, an excellent road system and communications infrastructure. Singapore is also one of the most innovative countries in the world, being the first to create and test its own digital currency.

Also, being nominated the easiest city to do business in several times is one of the strongest arguments why foreign investors should open a business in Singapore. The city’s infrastructure, banking system and communication facilities are also very important as they are less time and money consuming factors when deciding to set up a company. Singapore provides many incentives for foreign investors putting money in certain industries such as financial services, tourism, healthcare and telecommunications. Foreign enterprises can also rely on Singapore’s double tax treaties with over 70 countries that allow them to reduce the tax burden.