Wealthy expats favour SG

Wealthy expats favour SG

Wealthy expats favour Singapore as the best place to live

Singapore has arisen as the top place to work and live in for prosperous expatriates, as a new survey by HSBC Bank shows.

Expats surveyed ranked Singapore number one place to live in among 30 countries. The classifying criteria were grounded on economic factors such as earning power, ability to accumulate luxuries and disposable income. The island city is followed by Thailand and Cayman Islands.

To illustrate, the disposable income of 44% of the respondents had increased an impressive 50% or more after they had moved to Singapore, as reported by the HSBC survey which polled more than 5,000 expats from 100 countries.

The study also found that more than half of the expats (54%) in the city-state earns over US$200,000 (S$246,000) per year.

Furthermore, around 76% of the expats living in Singapore stated they have a better quality of life after having relocated in the country. In essence, Singapore was ranked highly for its quality of life, being granted second place in Asia and fourth among all of the countries studied. The city-state was especially praised for its safe environment in which to bring up children.

Paul Arrowsmith, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management at HSBC Singapore, said the report showed that Singapore "is fast becoming an all-around expat destination for career progression, financial rewards and quality of life".

Nonetheless, the study also brought to the fore man alarming tendency of expats not integrating properly in the country. A minority of 19% said they have integrated well into the local community, at the time 41% prefer to socialise with other expats rather than locals.

Entrepreneurial Capital of APAC

Entrepreneurial Capital of APAC

Singapore: the Entrepreneurial Capital of APAC

Singapore is one of the world's best business centres in the Asia Pacific, according to Laurel Delaney, board member of the World Entrepreneurship Forum. This cosmopolitan city-state presents particular characteristics that make it an asset in the entrepreneurial world, such as its proximity to major markets, pro-active government, tax benefits for foreign firms, plus reasonable corporate laws, plus it is relatively easy to do business there.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) -an independent business within The Economist Group- indicates that Singapore recorded a merchandise trade surplus of US$30.2 billion in 2009. Exports totalled US$273.4 billion in that year, while stood at US243.2 billion. The leading suppliers to Singapore 2009 were Malaysia (11.6%), the United States (11.6%), China (10.5%) and Japan (8.1%).

The opportunities for transnational trade in this market are abundant in the following industries: electronic components and parts, mineral fuels, chemicals and chemical products for exports and machinery and transport equipment, mineral fuels, manufacturing goods and miscellaneous manufactured articles for imports.

Additionally, Singapore is a leading global transportation hub. The city-state's busy container ports host 200 shipping lines with links to 600 ports in over 120 countries. In effect, Changi International Airport handles more than 5,000 weekly flights by 80 international airlines to more than 200 destinations worldwide.

Another advantage is the simplicity to do business in the country whether starting a business, trading across borders or protecting investors. In fact, the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Rankings granted Singapore the first position in 2010 and 2011, out of 183 countries.

According to Delaney's study, you can get just about anything done relative to business at a fast speed: set up a business (within 3 days), obtain written permission to build a warehouse (14 days) and get credit (10 days). "This uncomplicated process is a fertile business breeding ground for individuals who have bright ideas that they wish to bring to the marketplace", stated Delaney.

Singapore eclipses HK

Singapore eclipses HK

Singapore eclipses Hong Kong as Asia's most prized brand

According to a location branding survey by PublicAffairsAsia and Ogilvy Public Relations, Singapore has arisen as enjoying the most positive brand value among 16 Asian cities.

With a score of 9.7 out of 10, the city-state outperforms rivals Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Shanghai and Seoul.

Accordingly, the survey evaluates a city's positive brand based on infrastructure, transport, economic growth, culture, environment, political stability, low crime, healthcare and sanitation.

Singapore was recognised for its low-tax, political stability, clean and safe environment, as well as its growing arts, leisure and gaming scene.

Conversely, the city-state received a low score in the categories of press freedom and small-c conservatism.

At the same time, Hong Kong and Sydney are tied in second place with a score of 9.5.

Chief Executive Officer of Ogilvy Public Relations Asia Pacific Steve Dahllof said: "We can see from the analysis that the strongest city brands in Asia Pacific –Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney- are the cities whose reputations are comparatively long-standing".

"With 11 of the 16 rated cities receiving a very good rating from less than a third of respondents, many cities across the region still have their work cut out for them when it comes to defining their brand image."

Australia outpaces APAC

Australia outpaces APAC

Australia outpaces APAC on digital marketing

Australian brands invest more in digital marketing than many of their counterparts in the Asia Pacific region, including leading countries in the sector like Singapore.

According to the Adobe/CMO Council study, the Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard 2012, Australian brands invest 25% of their total marketing budget on digital assets, while Chinese and Singaporean trademarks spend 24%. At the same time, this is compared to 20% in India and South Korea.

Most of the digital investment was made in website content development and performance optimisation, followed by SEO and email marketing.

For the current financial year, social media optimisation took precedence (50%), followed by improving paid search and online display ads at 43%.

Australia trumped APAC in the use of digital marketing analytics at 84.5%, closely followed by South Korea, while Singapore is at 75%, India at 63% and Hong Kong at 61.5%. In contrast, China was considerably behind at 31%.

Adobe senior director of marketing in Asia Pacific, Mark Phibbs, said: "The research shows that companies across Asia Pacific understand the value of investing in digital marketing but are struggling with low budgets. Australia has realised the benefits of digital early compare with the rest of the region and has invested accordingly.

"Optimism is high right across the region about the business benefits of digital marketing with 93% of marketers surveyed believing digital marketing could create competitive advantage for their company, while 52% felt digital marketing was crucial in helping create a customer-centric, responsive organisation.

"The data has highlighted significant gaps between countries in their use of digital marketing analytics and reporting technologies. We can expect to see countries with the budget and skills to invest in establishing sophisticated technology platforms surge ahead of countries that are struggling to set up similar infrastructure."

The primary challenge to executive digital campaigns in the region was recognised as budget limitations. At the same time, a lack of the right talent, skills and expertise among team members was the top challenge to building an in-house digital marketing team.

To measure data, Australian marketers used metrics which comprised traffic and traffic sources at 76.5%, click-through-rates at 74% and conversion rates at 64%. Out of the 295 respondents to the survey, 79 were Australian marketers representing companies such as Toyota, 20th Century Fox and Macquarie Private Wealth.