Venture to United Kingdom with IE Singapore
The United Kingdom (UK) is one of the ten largest economies in the world. It is an attractive and open market with a population of almost 65 million1. The third largest economy in Europe after Germany and France, it is also one of the fastest-growing economies in the G7 and ranks seventh worldwide on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index 2017.
Common language and system
Singapore companies will not have problems understanding and dealing with their British counterparts, thanks to the common use of the English language and similarities in the British and Singaporean legal and accounting systems. This reduces the risks of doing business. In general, the UK has relatively low country risks and a skilled English-speaking workforce.
Global expansion partners
More UK companies are looking abroad for business and investment opportunities, giving Singapore companies the chance to partner them and tap their strong engineering and creative capabilities.
Venture to the UK
Although Brexit may mean the UK’s departure from the European Union, the UK remains a major market and economy with the lowest barriers to inward foreign direct investment among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. The UK, with a population of close to 65 million, is also Singapore’s 15th largest trading partner. Total bilateral trade was S$11.5 billion in 2016.
What Brexit means for you
The UK’s Brexit vote in 2016 has caused undeniable uncertainty, but the political vacuum has been filled quicker than expected and this has stabilised the situation.
Since the referendum in mid-2016, there has been a general pause as companies take stock of the potential effects of Brexit, and companies looking for investments continue to search for deeper value in their choices. However, there have been no knee-jerk reactions and no reversal of investment deals.
Singapore companies should have a contingency plan regarding the fate of EU workers in the UK, while expecting that the UK will ensure a conducive operating environment for businesses in key industries. Companies should also closely monitor trade agreements with the EU to see if supply chains or sales of goods and services in the common market will be affected.
In all, the UK maintains that it is open for business. Singapore companies in the retail and consumer, technology and innovation, as well as infrastructure and real estate industries can expect continued demand.
Read our Regional Director Kenneth Toh’s full Brexit update here.
1: CIA World Factbook, July 2017