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Doing Business Singapore vs Hong Kong


Two Economic Powerhouses Vying for The Title as “Best Economy in Asia”. Which One Emerges A Winner?

There’s no doubt that Singapore is one of Southeast Asia’s strongest performer. But how does it compare when it comes to doing business in Singapore vs Hong Kong?

Hong Kong and Singapore have been strong economic rivals for years. Each competing against the other for dominance to become the best country in Asia to do business. Both countries have enticed investors with their tax-friendly and easy business environment. Both countries have strong infrastructure.

Although Hong Kong has a longer history as being a centre for business in the region, Singapore has made strides over the years and quickly caught up. With his business-friendly policies, Singapore has successfully attracted more and more investors over the years, cementing its strong reputation in Asia.


Doing Business in Singapore vs Hong Kong – A Comparison

With both countries neck in neck when it comes to advantages, there’s no definitive answer as to which country is definitely better. Some investors love Singapore because of how competitive the landscape is and the quality of life factor. Singapore is also favourable for smaller businesses since the cost of setting up is much lower.  Other investors opt for Hong Kong to tap into the North Asian and China markets.

Other factors that compare Singapore vs Hong Kong are as follows:

Business Factors Singapore Hong Kong
Location Strategically located close to most other Asian markets. Strategically located close to most other Asian markets. Has the advantage of being perfectly situated next to Mainland China.
Ease of Setting Up a Business Approximately 3 Days to set up a business. 3 procedures to complete before you can set up a business. Approximately 3 Days to set up a business. 3 procedures to complete before you can set up a business.
Infrastructure Facilities Easily available Easily available
Intellectual Property Protection Strict regulations in place Strict regulations in place
Quality of Life Considered an easy place to relocate to and adapt. Socially a unique blend of multiple cultures and lifestyle. Singapore a modern, westernised city where English is widely spoken. Singapore also has one of the lowest rates of crime in the world. Predominant Chinese population, with Cantonese and Mandarin as the main communication methods. Hong Kong is touted as China’s food capital. Eating out here is more expensive than Singapore
Cost of Living A multitude of rental option choices are available to suit various budgets, needs and preferences. Residential rentals are much higher than in Singapore. Costs are in line with major cities like New York and London.
Earning Potential Earning potential is higher Earning potential is lower
Personal Income Tax Start from 3.5%. It can go up to 20% for those earning an income of more than SGD 320,000 Starts at 2%. It can increase to 17% for those earning an income of more than HKD120,000
Headline Corporate Tax 17% flat rate 16.5% of a business’s assessable profits. 15% for companies that are not incorporated.
Workforce Well-educated and highly trained and skilled. Employment costs are affordable. Investors prefer Singapore because of the assurance of the English-speaking workforce. Well-educated and highly trained and skilled. Available local talent pool that has experienced in dealing with the culture of Mainland Chinese cities. Employment costs are more expensive than Singapore. Cantonese and Mandarin are the main and preferred communication modes, although English is spoken.
Political Stability 2nd most politically stable country in Asia Next most politically stable country after Singapore.
Business Climate Pro-business climate. High-levels of integrity, strong corruption control and law enforcement. High-degree of autonomy in all aspects except foreign affairs and defence affairs. One of countries classified as the “most corruption-free” economies worldwide.


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Singapore is giving Hong Kong a good run for its money as a strong economic contender. One thing that is working against Hong Kong is the high quality of life. Working and living in Hong Kong is not as desirable as it used to be because of how expensive it has become. Doing business in Singapore vs Hong Kong comes down to the investor’s preference and business needs, but at least there are two very good, strong options to choose from in Asia.

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