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Doing Business in Singapore VS France


Ideal Destination For Investors

France has now become an ideal destination for investors who wish to expand their business overseas. Its commitment to free trade and various investor-friendly policies and a large market size in the entire Europe really makes it stand out from other countries not only in Europe but in the entire world. Situated in the heart of Europe, France really offers a huge advantage for investors looking to have a base in Europe. France is a global economic power, with the 2nd largest economy in the European Union (IMF, 2013), 31 French companies among the world’s leading 500 (Fortune Global 500, 2013) and as the world’s 6th largest exporter of goods and the 5th largest exporter of services (WTO, 2012). France investment scopes almost all the sectors due to the well-developed economy. Areas such as automotive, biotechnology, nuclear industry, software, multimedia, and computer logistics and peripherals are easy to venture into and promises huge returns for investors. France is not only investor friendly but is also taking all the corrective measures that will help increase the flow of foreign investment. The simplest avenue pursued by lead foreign investors is the ETFs or the Exchange Trade Funds. They provide the investors with a diversified way to expand their portfolios. They involve acquiring packets of securities in several industries in a less risky fashion than the individual stocks alternative which has fewer beta coefficients. ETFs are different from the mutual funds in the sense that they can be exchanged for money throughout the day just like the stock.


Dynamic Market At The Gateway To Europe

The competitiveness and employment tax credit (CICE) is reducing labour costs by 6% in 2015, amounting to €20 billion in annual savings for companies. This tax credit is calculated in proportion to the company’s gross payroll costs, excluding all salaries greater than 2.5 times the national minimum wage (SMIC). France is a cost-effective location, where business setups and operating costs are lower in France than in Italy, the United States and Germany (KPMG, “Competitive Alternatives”, 2012). France is also a dynamic market at the gateway to Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It is at the heart of the world’s leading economic region by GDP with over 500 million consumers. Not to mention that it is the world’s leading tourist destination with at least 83 million foreign tourists per year. France has excellent connections throughout Europe and the rest of the world thanks to their excellent infrastructure. Their high-speed rail network is ranked the 2nd largest in Europe along with their road network, which is ranked the largest in Europe. Two of France’s ports (Marseille and Le Havre) were respectively ranked 5th and 8th in Europe’s Top 10 by tonnage in 2011. Apart from being the largest market in Europe, France also possesses some attractive features that investors cannot ignore. It has a pro-business environment and is completely open to the world. It also has a well established financial market and a highly skilled labour force. When it comes to ease in starting a business, France ranks third in the entire world. France has a highly qualified and highly productive workforce. Their proportion of 25-34 year-old tertiary education graduates (43%) is greater than the OECD average of 38%.


World’s Best Tansportation Hubs

On the other hand, because of its unique connectivity and infrastructure, Singapore is a global transportation hub with the most extensive and comprehensive network of trade agreements in Asia. Its favourable geographic location allowed Singapore to become one of the world’s best transportation hubs for sea and air cargo. Its container ports are the busiest in the world – they have 200 shipping lines with links to some 600 ports in 123 countries.The country currently has the most extensive network of free trade agreements (FTAs) in Asia. Singapore has already signed agreements with key economies such as US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, members of the European Free Trade Association, Jordan, China, Chile, South Korea, India and Panama. Negotiations are in progress for FTA agreements with Middle East and South Asian economies. Furthermore, Singapore has signed over 40 investment guarantee agreements (IGAs), which should help protect investments made by Singapore-based companies in other countries against non-commercial risks. Over the years, Singapore has made significant strides in many areas, notably in economic and living standards. This has attracted an encouraging amount of praise and accolades for the young country, from official bodies and independent visitors alike. Among them, Singapore has been called the world’s easiest place to do business, a safe city with low corruption, and the best place in Asia to live, work and play in.


Workforces In The World

Investing in Singapore can be done several ways. Of course it is critical that you decide how much of your overall portfolio should be invested in Asia, and then make Singapore a percentage of that allocation. The iShares MSCI Singapore Index is the only exchange-traded fund with pure Singapore exposure. The ETF was up 76% in 2009 and is up 19% in 2010. With a total expense ratio of 0.55%, this is a very cost-effective way to participate in the market. There is one closed-end mutual fund, called The Singapore Fund , which has been in existence since 1990 and has good performance.

The immigration policies which has attracted a great number of foreign citizens working in the top industries in Singapore, has also created an impressive pool of talent, Singapore being the country with “the most internationalized” workforces in the world. This has determined many companies to relocate here and take advantage of the labor force which is also one of the cheapest in the region.