Singapore vs. Hong Kong on Trade

What you need to know about Singapore


Abundant in culture, innovation, and urbanization, Singapore is known worldwide not only as a tourist destination, but also as a global hub for commodity trading industries and one of the world’s easiest places to do business with. Singapore, a trading giant, focuses on three key clusters in commodities – energy and chemical, agri-commodities, and metals and minerals. Dealing largely with the European Union (EU), China, Japan, as well as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Singapore relies greatly on exports and trades on service producing industries such as transport, travel, business management, and financial among others. With exporting and trading providing the majority of the city-state’s GDP per annum, Singapore is able to offer a better living environment for its people. Advancement in innovation, better government and social services, and openness for multi culture, there is no wonder Singapore is a top choice for traders, businessmen, and tourists among others.


What you need to know about Hong Kong


Another favorite for enterprises, traders, and tourists in Asia is Hong Kong. Boasting with rich, live Asian culture, Hong Kong, although small in landmass just like Singapore, is also known one of the world’s freest economies. Hong Kong is a leading business and financial hub globally and is one of the favored countries to invest into because of its stable and transparent legal government and its continuous initiative for well-secured property rights that helps to ensure more commercial interactions and growth for entrepreneurship. Hong Kong also relies greatly on trading with other countries such as Mainland China, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, and the United States where they export gold, broadcasting equipment, and telephones among others. Trading with these giants help the country’s GDP to grow significantly throughout the years making Hong Kong the 34th largest export economy in the world.


Where to invest – Singapore or Hong Kong?


  • If location is a concern, and if maximizing resources is one of a company’s priorities, Singapore is a better option since it is home to the world’s busiest port and has one of the best international airports in the world, the Changi Airport. When dealing with goods that are embarked on vessels and ships, Singapore can be advantageous because their port has the most extensive international port connections. This means that the goods can be traded easier from anywhere in the world. This makes the city-state the top docking destination when it comes to trade. On the other hand, because of its closeness to main land China, Hong Kong is confined solely to being a focal point for the marine activities in China.

  • For businesses and traders who wish to expand their market and resources in main land China, it is no doubt that Hong Kong has an advantage to attract more investors. Perfectly situated on the southeast coast of Mainland China, investors who wish to tap the mainland Chinese market can opt to set up in Hong Kong as you can travel to and from for Beijing and Shanghai among others. This will be beneficial for investors who wish to trade or import cheaper raw materials and bigger workforce for their companies.

  • Singapore is still the top choice for expatriates around the world. The openness to multi cultures, safer and cleaner living environment and advancement in technology and transportation are some of the reasons as to why expatriates, businessmen, and traders choose to relocate in Singapore than in any Asian country. The openness to different cultures and the ability of the Singaporeans to speak very good English attract more foreigners in the country as adjustment to a new life is not much of a problem. On the other hand, because Hong Kong is still populated mainly by Chinese-speaking people and where Asian culture is still most dominant, some companies are reluctant to put up business in the country. Culture shock can hinder them from pursuing to relocate in Hong Kong than in Singapore.

  • Singapore is known globally to have one of the freest economies; however, advancing them in the first spot is Hong Kong. The country attracts foreign investors and businessmen with its stable and transparent legal government that has been their approach for years for a continued achievement to be the world’s freest economy. The openness of their market and regulatory efficiency helps the growth of the companies in the country, making Hong Kong one of top choices for places to invest in and trade with.

  • Although Singapore and Hong Kong offer a well-educated and highly-skilled work force, many companies still choose the Lion City over Hong Kong because of two reasons: language barrier and employment costs. Since Singapore has a workforce who speaks very good English, companies are attracted to put up and trade in the city-state because communication is no longer a problem. Their people can do a better job as they can communicate better to their customers. Moreover, because employment costs are higher in Hong Kong, companies are more inclined to invest in Singapore because of a more affordable workforce who can communicate in the English language better and more comfortably.

Both are trading giants and have a lot to offer to the world’s traders and investors, however, it can be deduced from the list that Singapore still has the advantage when it comes to attracting foreign investors and traders in the city-state. Although Hong Kong can be great choice because of its open market and free economy, Singapore advances on the top spot for the living environment, skilled people, and location that it can offer to the world. With a living environment that foreigners can easily adjust to and enjoy while working, Singapore is no doubt to be labeled as the favorite for expatriates according to HSBC’s 2010 Expat Experience Report. This is an advantage for the businessmen who are concerned about the living environment and the adjustment they have to make when setting up their company in a foreign land. Location as well plays a very important role for investors. Housing the world’s busiest and most extensive port, as well as one of the world’s best airports, Singapore is no doubt a favorite choice for investors, traders, and even tourists. Lastly, language is also one of the factors that investors look into when making a decision and Singapore is a very popular choice because of its English-speaking people who are highly skilled and educated as well. These advantages help the city-state to attract and gain more investors throughout the year making them one of the easiest places to do business with.