This small City-State, home to 5 million people, is an economic giant. Affectionately referred to as the “Little Red Dot”, Singapore has been South-East Asia’s most modern city for over a century. One of the best-connected countries in the world, there is no better place from which to explore Asia. Singapore is a melting pot of cultures from the region and all over the world as many choose to make Singapore their home. These influences can be seen everywhere, from cuisine to architecture.
The Singapore Economy continues to perform well above expectations – it is a highly developed, diverse, trade-oriented market. Considered a Global Financial hub, and operating the busiest port in the world, you would expect trade to be important. Ranked the most open economy in the world, most pro business, with relatively low tax rates, and the third highest GDP per capita in the world, all indications are towards more positive growth. There are high levels of government and private investment in a wide range of industries and infrastructure projects (from public transport to ports), helping solidify Singapore’s position as an economic powerhouse.
Location, Location, Location
With excellent links by land, air, sea, and rail, Singapore provides easy access within the region and beyond. This is just one of many benefits to basing yourself here. Located at the tip of the Malay Peninsula, Malaysia is but a drive away. The weather is dependable year round – a tropical rainforest climate with no distinct seasons – and temperatures range from 22 degrees Celsius to 35 degrees Celsius most days.
Due to the dependable weather, the lifestyle in Singapore is unrestricted by snow storms and fog. There is every imaginable recreational pursuit available – even skiing (indoors of course!). If you love the beach, sunshine, and warm weather, Singapore has you covered.
Singaporeans love their food, and there is usually a hawker stall or food court within walking distance no matter where you are. There are many options to choose from owing to the blend of cultures in Singapore. And after food? Shopping! Everything imaginable can be found in Orchard Road, luxury labels abound in the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, and almost every MRT station is home to another shopping mall. Beyond that, there are large shopping centres and local high streets in the suburbs to explore.
World class tourist attractions are at your doorstep – from the Gardens by the Bay to the amusement parks and beaches on Sentosa Island. There are also many social and expat clubs to help you settle in.
Although “Singlish” is often considered the everyday language in Singapore, there are four official languages: English (the most common, used by government and most forms of media), Malay, Mandarin and Tamil. Each of these languages is well supported by the local school system and encouraged.
The climate means that even business attire is fairly casual – you won’t see many formal suits in the workplace! Be prepared though as most indoors are air-conditioned.
Law and Order is important and there is frequent signage to remind you of it!
The majority of Singaporeans get around on the excellent public transport system – there is generally no need for a car. Between the busses and the MRT (Mass Rapid Transport – a rail system) you can get almost anywhere. If you need to get somewhere in a hurry the taxis are reasonably priced and easily available. There are more options now when it comes to buying and leasing cars, but it can still be a shock!
Singapore can prove to be a shock when it comes to the cost of housing, but general cost of living aside from this is quite reasonable and helps moderate this. There has been concerted effort to cool the market and this has started to be reflected in prices. Propertyguru is a great place to start looking, but remember that nearly everything is negotiable in Singapore.
All you need to know about the tax system in Singapore can be found at the IRAS website. It is always recommended to consult with your own accountant regarding any potential impact on your current situation.
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