Trade in India and Singapore

What you need to know about Singapore


Singapore, the world’s only city state, is considered as one of the strongest economies in the globe. The political and economic landscape in the country has continued to attract many foreign investors and institutions which have contributed greatly to its strong economy. Its strategic location as a trading hub facilitates the influx of goods and services in and out of the country. Singapore’s trade to GDP ratio is the highest in the world and its ports are among the busiest, with tons of cargo being hauled through its ports on a daily basis. Although its agricultural sector is small because of its urban setup, Singapore has a strong banking sector which contributes strongly to its attractiveness to foreign investors. It also has strong oil industry – as it’s one of the lead hubs in Asia, and is currently promoting its Biotechnology industry. Singapore has strong trade relations with its neighboring countries which is also one of the leading contributors to its strong economy.


What you need to know about India


India, on the other hand, is one of the fastest growing major economies. Following market reforms in the early 90s, it is now considered as a newly industrialized country and was the world’s seventh largest by nominal GDP in 2015. The reforms in the 90s have also led to the country to liberalize its markets, a shift from former protectionist policies. Since then, its economy has been on a steady increase. It’s agricultural sector which is 2nd in the world in terms of produce output. It also has strong developed and developing industries, most notable of which are its engineering and petroleum sectors, which are among the best in the world and which greatly contribute to the country’s developing economy. The country is also known for its IT and BPO services.


Pros and Cons


  • People in India have good English skills and are among the best in the region. It is perhaps a universal ability among the professional class in this country and most of them have good command of the language. This is a good thing to take note of as potential businesses and investments would not to worry about the language barrier when it comes to dealing with the people. It may seem trivial but cross-border communications are one of the most important things to look out for in branching out in another country. Although English is also a main language in Singapore, the professionals in India have better command of the language and they are considered as one of the best in Asia, even over Singapore.

  • There is also an established recognition of intellectual property rights in Indian law. Correlative to this is the legal protection accorded to intellectual property. This gives a premium to innovation and inventions as the law looks to protect any possible infringement and theft of new ideas. Intellectual property protection in India has been around for a longer time, having enacted its first copyright law in the 50s. Given this environment, India is a good place to start churning out ideas for new and original concepts and designs and you can be sure that what is yours will be given due recognition as such and you have the legal remedies and options available if your intellectual property rights are breached.

  • Singapore’s modernized urban environment and advancements in technology attract more traders and foreigners. Expats have been known to consider these two factors as one of their top considerations in enjoying the life experience in a foreign country. Its strategic location on the map makes it also an attractive place to start a business in as it opens the prospective business to all these trade routes and exposure of a new product would be more viable. As such, these factors would make trade and business for foreigners a tad more attractive as against its neighboring countries.

  • Singapore’s local infrastructure is among the best in the world. This factor makes it easier for people and products to move in and out of the country, thereby facilitating the flow of trade. It also has good measures imposed to combat traffic, quality of transportation, avoidance of flight schedule delays, and even availability of water. The convenience that these amenities bring is almost very apparent as good quality infrastructure would readily accelerate the flow of trade and money in the country. Coupled with the free trade agreements and bilateral arrangements with countries, it is guaranteed that businesses and investments would move fast and freely in the country.

  • Singapore’s tax rates make it also attractive for fledgling businesses. Capital gains, for one, are not taxable, and this makes it easier for businesses in buying capital assets as there are not capital gains tax that may be passed on to them. Income tax brackets, on the other hand, are among the lowest and most progressive in the region. It is capped at only 17% for profits over and above $300,000. As compared to the 25% flat rate imposed on domestic corporations in India, Singapore’s tax rate is lower and thus more attractive. Singapore has also entered into tax treaties with many other countries which basically make taxes in the foreign country friendlier toward Singaporean entities. This agreement is mutual and Singapore would also extend the same treatment to this other country. This could readily facilitate outward expansion from Singapore to these other countries.

In conclusion, Singapore still remains to have an advantage when it comes to attracting more foreign investors for putting up businesses and initiating trades. Strict rule of law that fosters better environment for businesses, urbanized way of living, and advancement in technology and infrastructure are one of the main advantages of Singapore against India. Although India is a progressing economy which has a lot of great potential and resources, Singapore is still the top choice for investors because they can offer an environment where people can trade and do business in easier and faster. Because of these advantages, there is no doubt that Singapore is a global hub for business and trade, and has been labeled as world’s easiest place to business.