Singapore consists of one main island and sixty-three surrounding islets. The main island is 682 square kilometers large. Singapore's strategic location in Southeast Asia, its fascinating cultural mix and tourist attractions made it a leading destination for both pleasure and business.
It is connected to Malaysia with two causeway bridges and the Islands of the Riau archipelago is only a ferry trip away from Singapore. Singapore's airport which is serviced by almost seventy different airlines is very much a hub into the countries of Southeast Asia.
Singapore has a population of approximately four million and the four official languages are English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil although the business language is English. Most Singaporeans are bilingual and speak their mother tongue as well as English. The local time zone is eight hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and in the same time zone as Hong Kong. USD 1 equals approximately S$ 1.5.
Singapore is a republic with a parliamentary System based on the Westminster model. The head of state is the President. The cabinet is led by the Prime Minister and parliament is elected every five years by general election.
The tropical climate is warm and humid all year round, with only slight variations between the average maximum of 31 degrees Celcius and a minimum of 23 degrees Celcius. But for those who do not enjoy the tropical climate, Singapore is sheltered from the worst effects of the sun with air-conditioning in almost all of its shops, hotels, Office buildings and restaurants. Rain falls throughout the year, with more consistent rain coming during the monsoon season from November to January. Showers are sudden and heavy but also brief and refreshing.
Already in the 14th century Singapore had become part of the mighty Sri Vijayan empire and was called «Temasek» («Sea Town»). Later in the same century it earned its new name «Singa Pura» («Lion City»). According to legend, a visiting Sri Vijayan prince mistook an animal for a lion and Singapore's new name was born. After the Second World War it became a Crown Colony and on 9 August 1965 it became an independent republic. Today Singapore is a member of the United Nations, the WTO, the British Commonwealth, ASEAN, the IMF, the FATF, the Financial Stability Forum (FSF) and other organisations.
In the last 150 years Singapore has grown into a thriving centre of commerce and industry and offers an excel-lent infrastructure and communication networks. It has also become a major financial centre, not only for Southeast Asia but for the international community as well and is home for approximately 130 banks. Singapore's mighty skyline is living proof of its success.
Singapore has shown a remarkable political stability and economic strength. Its taxation System is interesting for the business community and offers both a territorial tax System and a wide range of double-tax agreements. Holding companies pay a 20% tax on dividends received in Singapore whereby foreign tax credits can be deducted (Participation exemption or Dividend exemption possible). Dividends paid out of a Singapore holding Company are generally tax free. Non-resident Singapore companies only pay tax on net revenue remitted back to Singapore.
Jeeves Trustees Pte. Ltd. and Jeeves Corporate Services Pte. Ltd. can assist a client in arranging for registration of a Singapore (holding) Company and/or opening of bank accounts in Singapore. Many international banks including Swiss and Liechtenstein banks - have set up operations there in the last few years and we are more than pleased to introduce you to an appropriate institution. The largest Swiss bank has been in Singapore for approximately two decades already. Some banks argue that not being part of the European Union is an advantage of Singapore. While this might be true there are other advantages such as the diverse and large banking industry and strict control by the MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) and the attractive and economically and financially growing region around Singapore. More and more this region becomes a centre for business and shows a great need for financial expertise and advise.