According to a recent Straits Times report, Indians account for one-fourth of the 1.79 million foreigners and Singapore Permanent Residents and their numbers seem to be growing. The Indian Embassy in Singapore confirms that there has been a 100% increase in the number of Indian nationals residing and working in Singapore as compared to two years ago. While majority of the Indian nationals are employed as foreign laborers in the construction sector, there is a sizable pool of professionals in high value add industries such as IT, finance, and engineering. There has also been a steady growth in the number of Singapore company formations by Indian entrepreneurs from around 1,500 in 2006 to about 3,000 today.
It is easy to see why Singapore is a natural pick for Indian foreign professionals and entrepreneurs. Singapore is instantly appealing as it is Asian country with a highly westernized environment. Given the strong socio-cultural ties that exisit between Singapore and India, adapting and settling down in the country becomes far easier.
Singapore’s enduring appeal lies in its pro-business and family-friendly environment. Most Indian professionals prefer to relocate to Singapore as it a) is within close proximity to the Indian sub-continent, b) offers a higher quality of life than India, c) is safe and low on crime, d) provides a conducive environment for raising children, e) has one of the lowest tax rates in Asia and f) is the world’s easiest place to do business.
Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew is reported to have said,
“We benefited from being open to immigrants from around the world, especially China, India and the region. Having educated immigrants here makes Singapore more competitive and dynamic. The majority of the new PRs and citizens are skilled workers and professionals in finance, IT and R&D. They bring new skills, global connections and a strong drive to create better lives for their families. Our immigration policies have brought in better educated and wealthy Indians who have made that qualitative difference to our lives.”
Commenting on the rising popularity of Singapore among the Indian migrant community, Ms. Jacqueline Low, the the Director of Singapore company registration agency Janus Corporate Solutions said, “Most professionals and entrepreneurs tend to relocate with their family. While factors such as remuneration, taxes, ease of setting up and doing business play a major role in the decision making process, it is the “soft” issues that drives one’s choice on where to settle – factors such as schooling, pollution and lifestyle. From both perspectives Singapore is the perfect choice. Singapore’s tax rates are low and highly attractive; it takes one day to setup a company in Singapore; MNCs are offering attractive pay packages to talented professionals;
The 2010 ‘Quality of Living’ survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting revealed that Singapore offers the best quality of life in the Asian region. Singapore was also rated as ‘The Best Place to Live’ for Asian expats by ECA International, early this year. UK magazine Monocle rated Singapore as the third most livable city in Asia in June 2010.
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