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Through Singapore to ASEAN: What Makes Singapore the Perfect Springboard?

Through Singapore to ASEAN: What Makes Singapore the Perfect Springboard?

Amid the global shift towards sustainability, forward-thinking investors and business leaders are picking up on a green gold rush that merges profitability with responsibility.

Singapore is at the forefront of this modern economic evolution and is enticing the global business community with its strategic geographical location and unrivalled infrastructure.

As the torchbearer of eco-friendly business practices within the thriving ASEAN region, the city-state offers a fertile ground for sustainable ventures aiming not only to flourish but also to foster a positive impact on the environment.

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This article will present some interesting findings on how bullish international firms are on expansion in and through Singapore, how Singapore is rising through global innovation rankings, and why global giants see Singapore as the perfect sustainable springboard for their sustainable modernisations.

Singapore as a Favored Destination for Business Expansion

Unveiling the HSBC Survey Insights

A recent exploration by HSBC into the business expansion plans of international firms has spotlighted Singapore as a prime destination within the ASEAN region. 

The HSBC Global Connections survey, conducted through July and August 2023, engaged with over 3,500 businesses across various continents including Australia, Europe, Asia, and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. 

The findings are telling: 36% of the companies operating in Singapore have chalked out business expansion plans in the country over the next two years. 

In comparison, the figures taper to 27% for Malaysia and 24% for Thailand, underlining the distinctive allure Singapore holds. This trend underscores more than just a fleeting preference; it reflects a discernible confidence in Singapore’s business ecosystem among global enterprises.

Distilling the Competitive Edge of Singapore

The survey respondents cited several factors that elevated Singapore to a position over its ASEAN peers. At the forefront is a skilled workforce, adept at navigating the complexities of modern-day business landscapes. Adding to the allure is a blossoming digital economy, a linchpin for businesses vying for a robust digital presence.

The developed infrastructure in Singapore provides a conducive environment for business, further bolstered by a supportive government and an enabling regulatory environment, essential for business growth and sustainability. 

Additionally, the ease of supply chain management in Singapore is a significant draw for companies, especially in a global business landscape where supply chain disruptions have become too common.

The HSBC survey not only underscores Singapore’s standing as a preferred destination for business expansion but also shows the tangible and intangible assets that make the city-state a magnet for global businesses, especially those with an eye on sustainable and innovative growth.

Innovation Landscape in Singapore

In light of the insights garnered from the HSBC survey, it’s essential to acknowledge Singapore’s innovation landscape, which significantly bolsters its appeal to eco-conscious enterprises.

Triumph in the Global Innovation Index

Singapore’s remarkable rise to the fifth position in the Global Innovation Index 2023 is not a feat that occurred in a vacuum, but a testament to the city-state’s robust innovation ecosystem.¬†

Leading the charge in government effectiveness, information and communications technology (ICT) access, and venture capital availability, Singapore has meticulously crafted a conducive environment for innovative endeavours. 

The ripple effect of this leadership extends beyond its borders, positioning Singapore as a leader of innovation in the Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Oceania region. 

This regional ascendency in innovation is a compelling narrative for enterprises seeking fertile ground for sustainable business practices.

A Flourishing Scene of Corporate Research and Development

The global arena is witnessing a surge in research and development expenditure, reaching a historic high of nearly US$2.5 trillion, with significant input from ICT companies. Singapore is a key player in this narrative, with its conducive business climate being a magnet for R&D investments. 

This substantial investment in R&D isn’t merely about chasing the next big innovation; it’s about fostering a culture where sustainability and innovation are two sides of the same coin.¬†

It is an environment that encourages the symbiosis between profit-making and eco-conscious business practices, paving the way for a green gold rush within the ASEAN region.

A Beacon for Eco-Friendly Enterprises

The meeting of a thriving innovation ecosystem and a commitment to sustainable business practices makes Singapore a beacon for eco-friendly enterprises. 

The city-state’s innovation landscape is not just a fertile ground; it is a perpetually nurturing environment that encourages the growth of businesses with a green ethos.¬†

This favourable ecosystem provides not just a launchpad but a supportive scaffold for eco-friendly businesses, propelling them towards achieving not only financial success but also a positive environmental impact. 

As these enterprises eye a green foray into the ASEAN market, Singapore stands tall as a springboard, offering a blend of innovation, sustainability, and a promise of a prosperous venture in the green economy.

Case Study: Bosch’s Sustainable Initiatives in Singapore

As we delve further into Singapore’s conducive business environment, one such illustration is the journey of Bosch, a global leader in engineering and technology, whose century-long presence in Singapore has been instrumental in fostering sustainable initiatives.

A Century of Sustainable Innovation

The cornerstone of Bosch’s operations in Singapore is its unwavering commitment to sustainability, intertwining with the city-state‚Äôs own aspirations for a greener future.¬†

Over a span of 100 years, Bosch has not only witnessed the economic metamorphosis of Singapore but has actively participated in, and in many instances spearheaded, the green innovation drive within the city and the broader ASEAN region.

Fostering a Circular Economy

One of the hallmark initiatives by Bosch is the development of a circular economy, where the reuse and regeneration of materials is paramount. Through the launch of an AI-based automated disassembly framework, Bosch has pioneered intelligent product recycling. 

This initiative is not only about resource conservation; it’s a blueprint of how human-robot collaboration can revolutionise recycling processes, setting a precedent for other enterprises eyeing sustainable operations in Singapore.

Academic and Industrial Symbiosis

Bosch’s engagement with Singapore’s academic institutions like Nanyang Technological University and National University of Singapore is a prime example of industry-academia symbiosis fostering R&D in sustainability. 

This aligns seamlessly with Singapore’s Research, Innovation, and Enterprise 2025 plan, creating a conduit for innovative solutions like AI-based plastic waste sorting and sustainable HVAC systems. 

Through these collaborations, Bosch is not only elevating its sustainable practices but is contributing to the nurturing ecosystem that Singapore has meticulously crafted for green innovations.

Aligning with Singapore’s Sustainability Vision

Bosch’s vision dovetails with Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative, showcasing a mutual ambition for urban livability, sustainability, and carbon efficiency. 

By spearheading projects in urban farming and aquaculture, Bosch is setting a sustainable example that other ASEAN nations could emulate. Its endeavours in developing eco-friendly HVAC solutions and fostering a circular economy across its supply chain are living examples of the sustainable business operations Singapore champions.


Where to Next for Using Singapore as Your Sustainable Springboard for Business Expansion

Singapore emerges as the epitome of a sustainable business haven amidst the growing eco-conscious global market. Its strategic position, innovative landscape, and enabling business environment make it a compelling choice for enterprises aiming for a sustainable footprint in the ASEAN region. 

With real-world success stories like Bosch, Singapore proves to be more than just a business hub; it is a springboard for sustainable ventures eyeing a meaningful impact.

As a forward-thinking enterprise, aligning your business with Singapore’s sustainable vision could be your next game-changing strategy.¬†

InCorp is at the forefront of facilitating such transitions, providing comprehensive corporate solutions to ease your venture into Singapore’s green economy.


  • Singapore's strategic location, innovative ecosystem, and supportive regulatory environment make it a preferred destination for sustainable business expansion.
  • Rising to the fifth position in the Global Innovation Index 2023, Singapore showcases a robust innovation ecosystem, driving advancements in ICT, venture capital availability, and sustainable business practices.
  • InCorp provides comprehensive corporate solutions to ease your venture into Singapore's green economy, assisting with regulatory compliance, business setup, and other corporate services tailored to sustainable business practices.

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About the Author

Eric Chin

Eric Chin is the Group Chief Commercial Officer at InCorp Global, leading sales, marketing and consulting teams in 8 countries. With 11 years of corporate banking experience with HSBC and OCBC, Eric is highly skilled in creating market-entry strategies and structuring operations for diverse industries in the Asia-Pacific. He also advises fund managers and family offices on corporate structuring and tax incentives and has set up VCC structures for licensed fund managers.

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