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Doing Business in Singapore VS New Zealand


New Zealand and Singapore – Plenty to Offer Investors

New Zealand is the second easiest place in the world to do business, according to the World Bank in 2017 and first for ease of starting a business. It is also ranked by Forbes as the second in the 2017 Best Country for Business, just behind Sweden. In New Zealand, there are opportunities in many fields, in both traditional business sectors and in new, often highly innovative areas. Just some of the areas where New Zealand is doing exceptionally well include information and communications technology, tourism, film and special effects production, biotechnology, agricultural research, and wood-based technology. All these advantages come with dedicated immigration policies that make it surprisingly easy for investors and their families to enjoy the wide open spaces and world-beating lifestyle, adventure and recreational opportunities New Zealand has to offer. New Zealand has a stable and globally competitive economy. The country has experienced positive economic growth for 33 of the last 35 years. Trade is an essential element of our ongoing economic prosperity. Exports of goods and services make up around 30 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). A wide range of free trade agreements, pro-competitive regulation, an efficient tax regime, an open political system and investment in innovation have all given rise to an efficient and competitive economy.


Macroeconomic Foundations

New Zealand also boasts sound macroeconomic foundations and is among the top 20 rated sovereigns in the world. Standard & Poors gives New Zealand an AA+ local currency rating, an AA foreign currency rating and an AAA T&C assessment. It has maintained a low-inflation environment for more than two decades; independent monetary policy and a focus on price stability; a long-standing floating exchange rate and no exchange controls or restrictions on repatriation of funds. The recent economic co-operation agreements with countries such as Singapore and Thailand and China have substantially increased the size of consumer markets in New Zealand. It only takes three days to start a new business in New Zealand. The process of starting a business is also one of the simplest and the easiest among all the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. It ranks third in cross-border transactions with foreign partners and scores more than other developed countries such as the USA, Australia, Ireland and Germany. With so many business friendly aspects, New Zealand is surely a place which every investor must look for. All these competitive advantages give New Zealand the edge and make it a cynosure for investment among all the leading countries in the world.


Business Environment in Singapore

Singapore, on the other hand also has a lot of things going for it from an investment standpoint. Top draws include it’s proximity to China where Singapore is both geographically and culturally close to China and has big trade and business ties with Beijing. As China grows, so will Singapore. It also enjoys a very diversified economy whereby Singapore has a big pharmaceuticals sector as well as big financial services, tourism and shipping sectors. This means it is well positioned to weather any future economic storms that may come along. As for it’s free trade philosophy, the Heritage Foundation recently ranked Singapore as the second-freest economy in the world after Hong Kong. It was relatively low government spending as a percentage of GDP, strong property rights and relatively low levels of corruption. Singapore is best known in the investment community for its participation in global trade as one of Asia’s largest trading hubs. The easiest way to invest in Singapore is through ETFs or closed-end mutual funds, including the iShares MSCI Singapore Capped Index Fund (EWS).

Singapore maintains an edge in human resource with a strong pool of local talent, as well as a capable international workforce. Take a comprehensive look at our labour market.  You can find out more about how Singapore’s competitive economy, pro-business labour relations, and investments in talent training and infrastructure contribute to a supportive talent ecosystem here. In order to continually grow Singapore’s asset management industry, the government has extended and refined tax incentive schemes for qualifying funds. Additionally, Singapore has economic and tax treaties with over 70 countries, giving it a substantial advantage over other traditional choices. This, coupled with a low income tax and zero capital gain tax regime, has made the country attractive to fund managers by design. Singapore has also aligned and cooperates openly with global tax initiatives, while adapting to FATCA and AIFMD requirements. Fund managers can sleep soundly knowing that they aren’t worse off here in comparison with other tax jurisdictions. To quote Singapore’s Economic Development Board, the lead government agency for planning and executing strategies to enhance Singapore’s position as a global business centre, the city-state’s motto of becoming “Home for Business is about deeply rooting companies in Singapore and being their home away from home”.