Singapore Air Cargo Industry  

During the 1990s, Asian Tigers comprising high powered economic growth for Thailand, Singapore and Taiwan dominated the headlines. Airports together with national carriers were fast developing as well for rapid expansion of freighter fleets. China's rise put the Asian tigers growth pale in comparison. Cargo volumes at Changi Airport fell 3.2%, with overall growth for the 1st 7 months of 2013 rising a mere 1.3% in tonnage. Singapore will be parking a B747 freighter in June. Mr. Kelvin Wong, director of logistics for EDB sees static volumes for airfreight as success indicators. This is due to Singapore moving up the value chain for logistics, with products becoming smaller in size. Singapore used to export bulk boxes of printers and computers. Now it is transporting cutting edge medical devices, aerospace components and microelectronics. Businesses are always looking for ways to be more efficient and lower costs. A shift to sea freight is taking place as well. Hence flying is regarded as 2nd choice in terms of cost savings. A solid volume base is a sign of still healthy sector.

Air cargo enterprises are thriving in Singapore, due to its strategic hub location and World Bank has consistently ranked Singapore as top 2 best places for logistics. Singapore is a popular destination for being foreign companies' Asia hub. For instance, Texas Instruments just partnered DHL and Swisslog to launch Autostore, a high end automated logistics system. Dyson, a UK based electrical goods maker famous for its vacuum and fan, has been churning products form Singapore since 2004 and will continue to invest in a new manufacturing facility. Medtronic, a pacemaker company for human heart is also launching a worldwide centre of excellence, adding base to its Asia Pacific HQ. Rolls Royce launched its Trent engine for Boeing Dreamliner, a first in Asia. Cargo for air gets bigger at the same time. Logistics is in Singapore's DNA and a pillar of support for Singapore's economy. Sound economic planning ensures simultaneous development in its air, sea and custom clearing development with minimal friction. Singapore's seaport is known to be the largest transshipment hub. Strong custom agreements with global economies put cargo clearing in Singapore within minutes. All a freight operator needs is one portal to satisfy all regulations.
Many logistics players are expanding their footprint in Singapore. Panasonic recently transferred its whole purchase and logistics department from Japan Osaka to the island state. Infineon will partner as its exclusive supply chain manager. About 10% of world silicon wafers output and 40% of hard disk devices originated from Singapore. Established forwarders like SDV are rapidly expanding, with the latest opening of a 42,000 square meters huge warehouse aiming for servicing the luxury segment, health care, oil & gas and aerospace. DB Schenker, another heavyweight will also launch as even bigger 54,500 square meters logistics centre targeted at the electronics, automotive and healthcare segment, estimated to begin operations by Q2 2014. Singapore will emerge as the control tower for supply chain management based in Asia. Singapore has all the perks and infrastructure to make a supply chain more responsive due to expertise honed by its skilled industry veterans.
Many raised doubts about the space for new development as Singapore is already saturated and crowded. Wong has no qualms about the issue as EDB is always proactive in factoring all concerns into their master planning and resourcing plans. Changi Airport will be seeing new 4th and 5th terminal being built and fully operational by 2020 and expanding current runway no.3 into one full length 4000m commercial ones. The expansion plans will see passenger capacity doubling, and space extension for higher air cargo volume. It will be a win win solution for air freight operators wanting more space and airside facilities. FedEx has just launched in prior years.
EDB has provided full support for its e-freight at Singapore project, which is a project involving government running a centralized database for forwarders and carriers to exchange trade information. 17 companies had shown full commitment to this initiative and 37 more have shown huge interest. All participants are committed to IATA goal for attaining 80% routes covered by e-freight by 2016. Singapore has shown tremendous potential as a favorite airfreight hub due to India and China. ASEAN, with its 600 million strong population has as big an economic region compared to Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou. It has the same scale as South America.
ASEAN plans to have a unified economic integration by 2015 and this will double trade flows with 25% occurring within Asia. Markets in Asia are key to many companies. ASEAN will be as important economic bloc as China.
Dry weather to affect production output  

There is a burning question mark on the impact of the dry weather, brought about by the El Nino phenomena on palm oil plantation companies palm oil trees output. Dry weather still continues to affect all households around South East Asia especially Malaysia and Indonesia. There is a consensus among plantation research analysts that expects production for palm oil to increase and effectively bidding farewell to the longest dry spell ever witnessed around South East Asia. Average sale prices (ASP) for crude palm oil will see a short term boost until production output recovers to normalized levels and inventories being restored.

UOB KayHian, a Singapore based brokerage firm, published a report on plantations with the report detailing analysis on expected production recovery for 2016. The dry spell caused a lagged impact to production output in 2nd quarter of 2016. As the dry spell ended, production witnessed a recovery. In the western and central parts of Kalimantan, rainfall is still happening regularly where conditions are viable for palm oil trees to bloom and less stress on the flowers.
Total production output accelerated marginally in 2016. Plantations firms have varied tree profiles. Younger age trees will see higher production recovery while older age trees will be severely affected by the dryness. Those with older trees will witness slower rally in output volume. The average sale price for Crude Palm Oil (CPO) creeped up slowly from 2nd quarter of 2016 onwards. In actual fact, palm oil prices started its uptrend.
One must note that zero export duty was imposed for the same quarter in year 2015, hence any price increments were not  felt in 2nd quarter of 2016. Only on Q2 for 2016 can one see the impact of higher palm prices. The new Indonesia's export duty rates kicked in for palm oil production since July 15 2015. This minimized any impact on financial results. The duty collected will be utilized for its ambitious biodiesel mandate, assisting plantation smallholder with replanting exercises and facilitating deeper research for new palm seed discovery.
Another side of the plantation equation is export figures. Palm prices have not rallied hard as usually happens during severe El Nino scenarios as there is a marked slowdown of palm oil exports to top consuming countries China and India. Prices for palm oil may see a boost which will draw down stockpiles. Should there be continued production cuts, prices will definitely be well supported. For the first time CPO output will actually witness a year on year negative growth due to the severe dry spell hitting main plantation countries Indonesia and Malaysia. These 2 countries combines produces almost 90% of the whole global output for palm oil and weather patterns have immense impact on the palm tree yield and oil extraction rates.
There is still a lot of uncertainty in the outlook for CPO production. Lagged impact may be felt in the coming months but production may recover fast. La Nina has been widely speculated to follow suit which has historically been a production output booster to palm oil output. Plantations firms are closely watching the weather forecasts and patterns in the coming months to better manage their production operations.
 
Most of the world's palm oil is currently being produced in Malaysia and Indonesia but now The Guardian news reports Brazil's ambition to become a palm oil commodity giant. Palm oils is used in toothpastes, soaps, and detergents and many packaged foods. There are some ethical questions around deforestation for palm oil profit, so we hope the companies involved are responsible for sustainable cultivation. The non-profit World Wildlife Fund (WWF) launched a new alliance in Singapore that aims to boost demand for sustainable palm. The vision of the Alliance is to make CSPO the norm to stop the haze as well as deforestation and habitat loss in the region. It aims to provide a platform for companies to come on a sustainable journey towards producing, trading and using certified sustainable palm oil. The Singapore Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil is supported by five founding members, who together produce some of the most popular everyday brands used by Singaporeans. The five founding members are Unilever, Danone, Ayam Brand, IKEA and Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
SG HK CN Entrepreneurs  

Owning a global business, with a highly lucrative market in regions such as China and Hong Kong exposes you to world diversities and people from all walks of life. In the way of business, some of stakeholders one comes across will prefer some cities more compared to some.

Some of the clients, business gurus and associates expresses more liking for the Far East cities as Hong Kong and Shanghai as compared to extent of consideration for Singapore as an option. These business associates will want to travel, make trips and stop by at their own pleasure in Singapore but not startup businesses or run their business from there.
As different people have different tastes and preferences when it comes to where they would love to base their businesses, some will express their total confidence in cities such as Hong Kong and Shanghai while the latter will hold their total confidence in Singapore.
Discussed below are some of the factors to consider when deciding on the location on their business hub in pacific Asia.
1. Connection to the internet
With the digitalization in the world of business, the speed, accessibility and reliability of an internet connection is paramount. Some business hold their core to the power of the social media, while keeping in touch with staff and other clients from any part of the globe. Internet is important to entrepreneurs as much of research work, sending and receiving emails as well as international calls are all dependent on it. With that into consideration, some cities such as Singapore will offer any entrepreneur with the most efficient internet connection as compared to other cities as Hong Kong and Shanghai.
2. Censorship
When it comes to the rule of the law, different states view different aspects of the social media different from the other. For some states, all search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo amongst others are all accessible for use at any one given time. For some other states, it is a subject of scrutiny and might find out that some of the online sites are inaccessible while in the said states. For this case, there are technological break through that might help you bypass such restriction and access your sites such as using the virtual private network. Such restrictions will give some cities in the pacific Asia more credit such as Singapore than Shanghai and Hong Kong.
3. Coworking
Space gives the best platform for business people to network, connect and share ideas with ease. It is therefore of essence to have buildings that reflect the best designs , are well managed , spacious , giving ample room for social and business oriented Coworking space. This is a very vital consideration for all entrepreneurs across board. Entrepreneurs will consider cities in pacific Asia that offer spaces that give them productive working spaces. The consideration for cities such as Singapore being more ecstatic is because it has better entrepreneurial space as compared to Hong Kong and Shanghai.
4. Government support
Support for entrepreneurial growth is paramount to the growth of any business. The ability and willingness of the government to give entrepreneurs incentives to favor their growth is very important. From one city to another, the policies set out by the government are different. In shanghai for example, most of the high profile entrepreneurs will have an issue with the free trade zones. In Hong Kong, businesses are run in family cartels that are very hard core when it comes to policy making policies that might jeopardize them unfavorably. In Singapore, government support, incentives is overwhelming.
5. Weather
Different cities around Asia pacific experience different weather patterns and seasons. If the type of business is not in any way affected by the type of weather or season present, then there no worries whatsoever. It is only a factor to consider if the productivity of the business will be influenced in any way. Shanghai and Hong Kong experiences such seasons and might affect some of the business associates as well as their business. If so, Singapore, does not experience such and might be more suitable for them

 

ST Telemedia and Tata  

ST Telemedia and Tata Communications complete the Singapore data centre joint venture transaction. Both partners to power ahead to grow and strengthen the Singapore and India data centre business.

Tata Communications announced in Feb 2017 the successful completion of the Singapore data centre joint venture transaction with ST Telemedia (STT), a global investor in communications, media and technology businesses.

In May 2016, both companies announced their entry into definitive agreements whereby STT, through its wholly owned subsidiary, ST Telemedia Global Data Centres (STT GDC), agreed to acquire a 74% majority stake in Tata Communications' data centre business in India and Singapore, with Tata Communications holding the remaining stake as a minority shareholder. The India data centre joint venture transaction was successfully completed on October 19th, 2016.

The completion of both Singapore and India transactions reinforces the strategic partnership between the two dynamic companies, working closely and drawing on each other's complementary capabilities and experience to accelerate growth in the vibrant data centre markets in Singapore and India.

Since the May announcement, both companies' management teams have been working closely to identify areas for business integration to enhance customer service and realise the full potential of the business partnership. Both partners remain committed to ensuring a smooth transition for existing customers and employees of Tata Communications' India and Singapore data centres into the broader STT GDC platform.

The Tata Communications Global Network reaches more than 240 countries and territories, 99.7% of the world's GDP, millions of businesses, and billions of people. It includes the world's only fibre ring around the world

ST Telemedia is an active investor igniting growth opportunities emerging from the digital convergence of users, communities, content and services. Focused on four business segments – Communication & Media Services, Enterprise Services, Data Centres, and Emerging Technologies.

Bright idea to Business  

In the special series part seven staring at the growing start up prospects at Singapore, Michael Stoss from Voice2Choice start up explains the confrontation during the development and practical implementation of new technology to the extent where it can be introduced in the market. SINGAPORE: It has been initiated by the means of bedtime stories and soft toys. During 2007, Mr. Michael Stoss had been working in the Kuala Lumpur situated in Malaysia. He was intending to tell the stories of bedtime to godson who was situated in Germany, but time difference was a big hurdle and very difficult to cope with. On a bright day, Stoss was thinking about the transformation of his original voice as the speaker of fairy tales or bedtime stories. He found that there was no evident solution in form of software.
He again stuck with an idea to create an application in form of soft toys for those children who are hospitalized and enable those toys to speak the in voices of their grandparents and parents. Children who are admitted in the hospital find the soft toys comfortable, but if they hear the toys speaking in familiar voice, it would enable them to speed up their recovery process. Mr. Stoss began to work on the development of application and this technology further evolved Voice2Choice .
WONDERFUL POTENTIAL
Beyond soft toys and bedtime stories, Mr. Stoss further determined the other potential benefits of the application in other areas. He further proclaimed that this software can be used in movie dubbing. He told that the TV shows and movies that run in Germany are mostly dubbed by Actors. Suppose, your movie has a lot of characters, for instance you need 20 to complete your dubbing, you will be requiring 20 while with the Stoss's technology, you will not require so many.
With Stoss's application, you will only need a child, women and a man. With the combination of these three voices, you will be able to make the other voices of characters as well. This will further save the movie company from expenditure of extra money and time. The scenario will be the same with the industry of gaming as well. With the advent technology developed by Stoss, game producers can be offered with the variety of voice variations.
SLIPPING BLOCKS
The theories and ideas can progress the product to the money making road where it can get the assistance from the external agencies. In case of Voic2Choice, a number of sources were offered by the Singapore for help. Technology & Research (A*STAR), the Agency for Science is helping the company under the T-UP proposals. Furthermore, it is the part of the scheme that is offered by the A*STAR to provide the funds in partial as salaries along with the seconding of engineers and scientists to medium and small enterprises. It has further acquired the grant under Technology Enterprise Commercialisation Scheme starting SPRING Singapore.
Under Private zone, the application is being tested by the means of different media and trials along with the videogame producers. Mediacorp programme for Mediapreneur is also supporting Voice2Choice that further offers seed funding for startups along with the networking, mentoring and working spaced along with the packages comprising attractive media to boost their development and growth.
Mr. Stoss further stated that they have big players behind them such as largest companies of media and Government of Singapore shows sheer trust on the company and it will further help to find the potential partners and investors. But, there exist slippery blocks.
After past 10 years, Mr. Stoss still remain unable to fulfill his dream to make his bedtime stories audiobook for his godson. First challenge that have faced is in the technology as voice has complex nature and shows uniqueness, it can be resembled to the fingerprint. Stoss further added that the elements like accents, rhythm and intonation along with the pronunciation are the core things which are unchangeable.
He further added that he is unable to change the Australian or Scottish accent and convert their voice to be speaking in English. With the underlying technology, pitch is another problem along with the possibilities with limits in order to create high-pitched deep voices. The company also requires the potential investors along with another underlying challenge. Investors are more interested in the profits, the technology is under the further development to yield the better outcomes. To meet the challenges, the company is giving its utmost efforts for research. The description of human voice is based on several parameters, while these parameters are not having yet researched well. Stoss further added that this area needs further research.
Stoss further added that the company needs experts in the technical field such as processing of digital signal. The experts are not easily available and hence are expensive. So Mr. Stoss added that it is a challenge for start-ups. There are several ways in he pipeline that enable the users to determine the technologies according to their needs. Stoss stated that they are intending to create a platform, a mobile application where the users will be able to create and upload their own voices. These two approaches are being utilized to address the investor's challenge so that the company can convince its investors about the working technology and dominated the market.
KNAV hires 2 experienced Partners  

KNAV, an international grouping for legally independent accounting firm and consulting practice, has made its latest 2 high profile partner hires in the Singapore operations. They had engaged the services of Mr. Wayne Soo as well as Mr. Ethan Ong. KNAV has a global presence in many locations. Some of the countries with KNAV operations are Canada, India, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Singapore, USA and UK.
KNAV offers 3 main categories of business services. The first is audit and assurance. KNAV has a strong audit methodology that is relevant to the business in the areas of financial statement attestation and compliance and internal control audit. It relies on risk based audit methodology to perform an effective and efficient audit. Its audit process also involves understanding various business controls and testing those controls for effectiveness. It has a strong focus on maintaining healthy client relationship while providing top class services. KNAV utilizes the modern tools and information analytics and is able to keep up with the modern times from support given by various software vendors such as Thomson Reuters.
Another key business service offered by KNAV is in the area of tax advisory and tax preparation. KNAV is staffed by highly experienced tax partners leading the tax practice and is able to provide a global tax view for companies' tax needs and queries. KNAV attempts to provide tax solutions to companies from across different industries and will execute those solutions effectively for the client. KNAV tax professionals are well versed with different tax code from multiple jurisdictions.
The final key business service is on the area of business advisory. There are 4 sub business segments. First would be business valuation practice. KNAV will be able to assist in valuing a company's assets and liabilities to provide a meaningful fair value for any business concern that will be useful for any potential acquisition deals. The second would be strategic advisory. KNAV can draft out a comprehensive strategic review plan for the company wanting to implement process improvement procedures and tailored solutions can be offered to better manage the company's operations. The 3rd area is investment banking. KNAV has investment banking professionals ready to execute fund raising documentation. Underwriting services, security offerings are part of the expertise provided by KNAV. The final area is concerning accounting advisory. KNAV has in place a team of competent accounting professionals well versed with latest accounting standards and local GAAP for various jurisdictions. They can ensure your financial reporting obligations are in accordance to companies act and global recognized accounting standards. Accounting is a dynamic topic with constant updates and changes and companies can benefit from KNAV's expertise.
Mr. Wayne Soo is a qualified chartered accountant in Singapore. He is also a Qualified Fraud Examiner and has Fellow membership in six international accounting bodies. Mr. Wayne Soo has immense wealth of experience in the areas of audit, having served for many years with Big Four professional services firm. Other areas of expertise include due diligence, forensic audit and corporate advisory. The client profiles include large local corporations and international companies.
Singapore and India has good economic partnership and trade between the 2 nations have been synergistic. Cross border deals are happening at and increasing pace and volume between the 2 unique jurisdictions and KNAV has to keep abreast with regional developments over at Singapore by roping in talent in order to serve their clients effectively. Many businesses have vested interest in both India as well as Singapore with multiple transactions happening across the countries every day. Managing Partner for KNAV, Nishta Sharma expressed delight in making 2 Singapore partners and will continue to push forward for global integration.

 

Big Data in Asia  

The behavior of consumption and also the online conversations shape the volumes of business transaction. Social media plays it because of the boom of mobile devices and the increasing connectivity of consumers in the Asia-Pacific region. One thing that seems to have no end are the new ideas to create new applications or opportunities to secure new information. It also happens as new solutions to solve the challenges of the constantly growing region cities, the exact calculation of revenue from a new business opportunity and even detect bottlenecks in the supply chain.
The panel member and Harvard Business School visiting professor Tom Davenport said companies that take advantage of this power that big data and analysis have the opportunity to make right decisions, get insights and carry out the necessary adjustments more rápidp strategy their competitors. It is a significant advantage since the market lives in constant change. This type of insight allows companies to realize a significant improvement in its services or products, whether for an individual consumer or a market, may help prices when needed or adjust marketing.
The Singapore Management Unversity in partnership with some institutions, including Carnegie Mellon, held many top jobs using big data in Singapore to conduct experiments in real time. An example is that in shopping centers, consumers can find kiosks with product offerings with special prices to suit them with data that were pickup through the cell phone them. It is possible through the identification of preferences and shopping patterns.
Of course, there are challenges in a diverse region where there is the implementation of large data analysis because real data may have a limitation, especially in emerging markets. However, the panelists believe that the explosion of mobile phone use becomes a current source of unlimited data and has the functionality for many purposes. The data relating to the purchase that is obtained using mobile phones have been used to contribute in determining credit points in a market, and other such data were used to understand and map the traffic patterns in more congested cities.
An executive who wants to deploy these significant data in Asia need to hire people who have high levels of skills in analytics and mathematics and that most of the time we understand that this talent is very rare in today's market, as well as in most world organizations also.
The Universities as SMU created a specialized focus in developing these skills. Panelist Steven Miller, vice chancellor and dean of the School of SMU Information Systems, warned that companies have the need to expand their concept of analysis since they want to make use of these significant data in innovative ways.
"It is not only a person who has a Ph.D. in statistics. This is an individual who has a real understanding of the information can provide to the business," said Miller. "The real problem that exists today in organizations is that the scientists go to until a limited point and business leaders over there, and there is no communication between them. It is important to discuss what is possible because this is crucial to innovation."
Davenport said that this experiment that big data offers can be explored aggressively by companies in the next decade. Big companies will run a relentless series of tests for various markets and segments, and thus will allow customers that they explore different value propositions. Big Data will also conduct a comprehensive analysis of the most accessed social media in this way large enterprises can understand how the various networks of people tend to influence each other when making purchases. Asia-Pacific has the key to the future with this kind of experimental innovation, mainly because it is a diverse region and constantly changing.
Davenport also said that most reputable companies are heading for constant experimentation and carry out thousands of small experiments. It is a culture change for many organizations, but the results will be amazing.
Easiest place to do business  
It should shock nobody to find out that, once again, Singapore has topped the list of best places in the world in which to do business. The Economist Intelligence Unit has been compiling this list for decades and, in the last 7 years, Singapore has been its leader.
The rankings take a number of important factors into account, including politics, openness, efficiency, speed, taxes and the job market.
Despite its small size, Singapore's laws are perfect for people looking to make big investments. The government does all it can to remove the red tape that so many other nations see as essential to managing their economies. This means foreign investment can be done without the tedious bureaucracy demanded elsewhere. Meanwhile, low corporation taxes ensure investors get the most of their money, without having to break off a large chunk for the local authorities.
While Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Sweden all found their way into the top ten, the surprising absence of some of the Eurozone's richest countries from the top ten speaks volumes. A mixture of fall-out from the economic crisis, endless bureaucracy and strict taxation all make the EU a frustrating place to do business, and there is no place for even heavy hitters such as France and Germany in the top ten. The UK, whose capital was once the engine of the world's economy, doesn't even make the top 20, only appearing in 21st position, one spot ahead of Malaysia. Now after Brexit followed by Donald Trump we will soon need a total revision.
As Jim Rogers, famous US investor who recently moved to Singapore, puts it:
“If you were smart in 1807 you moved to London. If you were smart in 1907 you moved to New York. If you are smart in 2015 you move to Asia. Singapore 40 years ago was a swamp with a half a million people. Now, it is the country with the largest foreign currency reserve per capita of any country in the world. It's got the best education in the world, the best health care in the world. It's astonishing to come to Singapore and see that everything works. Singapore is going to be the financial centre of Southeast Asia, probably Asia and likely to be one of the financial centres of the world.”
So, what is it that makes Singapore such an attractive prospect for business people like Jim Rogers? Well, this list is a start:
  • Singapore is rated 1 by the EIU and the World Bank for ease of doing business. Its economy is considered the third most globalised in the world, plus it is the third richest nation according to Forbes.
  • Corporation tax is a mere 8.5% up to $300,000 profits and stays flat at 17% for everything above that. There's also no capital gains tax, no inheritance tax and no estate tax.
  • It's got a superbly well educated, hardworking labour force.
  • It's very politically stable, with the highest quality of life in Asia.
  • It's extremely safe, with a focus upon peaceful living and law and order on the island.
  • It is a very multicultural society, with a hugely diverse population, yet has never suffered any of the race-related unrest issues that are common in many other multicultural countries.
Getting business done the right way in Singapore  
The Singaporean economy is now one of the most influential in the world, attracting huge investment from all over the globe thanks to its free, open and very tax-effective business laws. There is simply no more pro-business place to do business and, as more companies wake up to this fact, expect even greater concentration on the South East Asian state in the coming years.
If you are new to Singaporean business and want to get involved, then the sooner you do so the better. With more and more western companies looking to make a profit in Singapore and more and more western business people looking to work in Singapore, the best opportunities may not be there for long.
For those concerned about stepping into an unfamiliar business culture, then this guide will help. Here we run down the most important things to keep in mind before you start doing business in Singapore.
A westernised business culture, with an Asian hierarchy
The good news for those coming from a western business background, is that the Singaporean market-place is very much a westernised culture, despite its position in South East Asia. Unlike, say, China or Korea, where westerners constantly run the risk of embarrassing themselves by pursuing a deal with too much enthusiasm, the structure of how deals are struck in Singaporean business will be fairly familiar to anybody who has ever sat in a New York, London or Berlin boardroom. That does not mean, however, that there are not certain Asian-style workplace traditions that need to be respected – there very much are. Happily, however, they are a little easier to follow than in many other Asian nations.
Hierarchy remains a key part of the way companies are run and, like in the aforementioned Chinese and Korean economies, the senior management will make the first and final decision on everything – dissent is generally not expected or accepted. There is, however, a degree of tolerance for private debate, so long as it is reasoned and clear in its intention, though this should only be done in closed, one-on-one meetings and not in front of the whole team.
Similarly, it is considered very rude and unprofessional to get a junior member of your company to contact a senior member of a Singaporean company. Status is important here, and there is an unspoken rule that only those on the same levels will deal directly with one another. Age is a big part of this too, and the Asian tradition for respecting your elders and deferring to their experience over your youthful vigour is firmly in place here.
In fact, showing and gaining respect is really the key to how business gets done on the island. You will only build up a powerful network of business contacts by showing that you deserve their respect – through your professionalism, your usefulness and the respect you show to others. Losing face is very damaging in Singaporean business, whether it is due to your failure in a business deal or your poor personal behaviour.
Underlying all of these rules is the perhaps most important fact of all about Singapore, which is its incredible multiculturalism. The fact that this population of more than 5 million people is made up of a mix of Chinese, Indian, Malay and Western people means what is expected, culturally, in one company will differ in another. It might sound strange, but reading up on the background of the company with whom you wish to do business or for whom you wish to work will be essential to understanding how to behave.
The industries driving the economy  
Singapore's economy is not only the most open in the world, it is also the 7th least corrupt, the lowest taxed and is governed by laws that have been rated the most pro-business in the world. Given all these factors, it is easy to see why the Singaporean markets continue to soar and why so much foreign money pours through its companies. If you are looking to make the most out of this powerful and influential economy, then it is worth learning about what drives it. Here we look at the most prominent industries in Singapore.
Tourism
With millions upon millions of foreign visitors coming to Singapore every year, it is no shock to find out just how important tourism is to the economy. In fact, it is the biggest service sector in the state and is estimated to rake in about $30 million in 2015. What makes Singapore such a trap for tourists? Well, alongside its rich history, it fascinating clash of Chinese, Malay, Indian, Arab and Western cultures and it stunning conservation sites, it also has a glorious climate and some wonderful beaches. Business travellers also make up a huge percentage of the 17 million odd arrivals that come to the island each year, while retail and medical tourism are both also on the rise. Among the big names brands associated with Singaporean tourism are Singapore airlines (voted best airline in the world), Shangri-La hotels and Changi Airport (voted the world's best airport).
Banking
Given the free-flowing nature of its economy it was inevitable that the financial sector would feature on this list. Singapore's banks, wealth management firms and lenders are some of the most important business engines of South East Asia. Thanks to the extremely pro-business nature of its laws and its superbly gifted multicultural workforce, the island attracts tons and tons of investment and many of the world's biggest companies have money here. International trading takes place right around the clock, 24/7.
Construction
One of Singapore's most rapidly growing industries over the last decade or so, construction now sits at the top table as one of the economy's pillars. Its expansion has been quite remarkable to witness: in the year 2007 it grew a whopping 20% and has not stopped since. With shopping malls, casinos, hotels, apartments and much, much more being planned for the next year, it is only likely to get bigger.
Biomedical Science
The island of Singapore is now one of the world's most important centres for bio-medical progress. Key research and development projects are constantly being done here, while production and manufacturing of medical goods and the provision of medical services are also massive areas of growth. One indicator of the sector's rapid expansion is MerLion Pharmaceuticals, who received a Scrip award as the Best Company in an Emerging Market.
Logistics
Singapore is the world's most powerful hub for logistics services, according to the World Bank. The importance of this factor cannot be overstated, as it allows Singapore a huge influence in the global business community, as companies across the world rely on its logistics innovations. The island is home to Asia's most important logistics education centre, The Logistics Institute Asia Pacific.
  
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