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Doing Business in Singapore VS Canada


Canada and Singapore – Strong Investment Destinations

Over the past few years, the Canadian capital markets have been consistently outperformed and been more resilient to the financial crises that have wrecked the other world markets. The Toronto Stock Exchange Index outperformed the S&P 500 from 2006 through 2010 but did falter in 2011 and 2012. Not only has Canada recovered all jobs lost during the recession, it’s seen job growth as well. Statistics released by Invest Canada show that as of September 2012, 769,800 more Canadians are employed than when the recession ended in 2009. Canada overall has seen employment growth of 1.48 per cent from 2001 to 2011, reaching a percentage higher than Germany, Italy, the UK, France, the US and Japan. Industry analysts agree in the potential for Canadian business success. The Economist Intelligence Unit released its global business rankings in September 2012 with figures that showed Canada as the best place to do business in the next five years, in comparison to G-7 countries. Even further, Forbes’ ranked Canada as number one out of 134 countries in its annual study on the Best Countries for Business.


Lowest Tax Rate

As of 2012, the Canadian corporate tax rate is 15%, which is one of the lowest internationally. Through an effort to drive economic growth in the country, Canadian officials continue to adjust these tax rates. To give you an idea of how quickly it’s moving down the scale, it was 18% in 2010. Many provinces, including Ontario (Canada’s largest), include a 10% add-on. This results in an aggregate effective Canadian corporate tax rate of 25%. This corporate tax rate is still the lowest in North America. Also, by any standards, Canada is politically very stable. Its budget deficit is moderate relative to any other jurisdiction. The balance-of payments deficit is also small, with its most important trading partner as the United States, followed by China and Mexico. Canada enjoys a large surplus in its trade with the U.S. Canada faces very little inflation risk since the country has maintained a sound monetary policy. Along with the commodity boom, Canada’s weight in the MSCI World Index has doubled over the last decade. At about 5 per cent, it is the fourth largest constituent of the index and second fastest growing (behind Australia). The Canadian equity markets are expected to continue to play an important role in the global financial markets as the country negotiates major free-trade agreements with Europe and India and develops access to emerging markets.


World’s Easiest Place To Do Business

Singapore, in its 50th year of existence as a sovereign nation, has renewed its faith in the country’s internationally applauded business-friendly ecosystem, both for companies as well as individuals, so that the city-state remains an attractive destination to incorporate and promote profitable companies. According to the country’s Ministry of Finance (MOF), Singapore’s corporate regulatory policy focuses on “development and facilitation rather than control”. This has made Singapore the world’s easiest place to do business, as well as one of the busiest ports, leading oil refining and distribution centre, and manufacturing cornerstone for electronic components. According to the Singapore Economic Development Board Singapore is ranked as the world’s easiest place to do business, the most open economy for international trade and investment, the best business environment in Asia Pacific and third best worldwide. These conditions combine to make Singapore the most competitive Asian country and an ideal place to do business.


Efficient & Bureaucracy-Free Regulatory Frameworks

To facilitate businesses who wish to make Singapore their home, the country has ensured that IP and copyright laws are robust and in synergy with global laws on IP protection. In fact, the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) was so impressed by Singapore’s reliable IP environment that it decided to set up it’s first Asian regional office here in 2009. In Singapore, there are over 123 commercial banks, 154 fund managers and 291 capital markets services license holders. This enables entrepreneurs to raise funds at rates as low as 1 percent per annum. So availability of funding, especially if you have a world-beater idea, is never an issue. Singapore has an extensive network of Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) with over 50 countries. These agreements are designed to ensure that economic transactions between Singapore and the treaty country do not suffer from double taxation. Furthermore, Singapore provides Unilateral Tax Credits (UTCs) for the case of countries with which it does not have a DTA. Thus, a Singapore tax resident company is very unlikely to suffer from double taxation. Finally, Singapore has one of the most efficient and bureaucracy-free regulatory frameworks in the world. For nine consecutive years, Singapore has ranked number one on World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business survey. The requirements for incorporating a company are straightforward and the procedure for doing so is simple. It takes less than a day to incorporate a new company in most cases.