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Singapore Business Singapore has a lot of strengths that give it a lead over the other Asia-Pacific countries Singapores strategic location in the heart of Asia-Pacific makes it a very accessible seaport Singapore has an excellent business and social infrastructure This small country also enjoys political stability and economic ties with many of the worlds most powerful economies Government approval Government approval is not generally required for non-residents to do business in Singapore However banks and other financial institutions wishing to do business do require approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore MAS Certain activities such as the production of cigarettes beer refrigerators and air-conditioners operation of restaurants bars etc require a license from the relevant government bodies Structure Foreign companies may set up representative offices in Singapore A representative office other than that of a financial institution should register with the Trade Development Board and is not allowed to carry on a business in Singapore Financial institutions who wish to set up representative offices in Singapore should obtain approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore MAS The purpose of the representative office is to perform liaison services and establish business contacts often as a precursor to the commencement of full-scale business activities in Singapore Such offices do not have to maintain accounts register as branches or file tax returns Foreign investors may carry on business in Singapore as branches by incorporating local subsidiaries setting up a partnership or operating as a sole proprietorship Generally the Singapore government permits 100 foreign ownership of Singapore companies with limited exceptions There are no exchange controls and funds may be freely remitted into and out of Singapore Labour Law The most prominent feature of Singapores industrial relations environment is the absence of labour unrest Employee groups may be represented by trade unions but membership is not compulsory The Industrial Relations Act regulates the procedure for collective bargaining and negotiation The National
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