The UK has a population of 66 million and is the fifth largest economy in the world.
According to the World Bank, it is the easiest European country to do business with. As the top destination for foreign direct investment in Europe, the UK government welcomes thousands of overseas businesses every year.
The UK is also Singapore’s fourth largest European trading partner, with total bilateral trade valued at S$18 billion in 2019. This is an increased by over 10 per cent from S$16 billion in 2018. Bilateral ties and cross-border business collaborations remain healthy, with G2G initiatives such as the Singapore-UK “FinTech Bridge” to develop and encourage collaboration between the fintech sectors in both countries.
More UK companies are eager to look outside the EU for overseas business and investment opportunities, due to the UK’s plan to leave the European Union in 2019.
Whether you are in fintech, medtech or digital technology, Singapore businesses can tap UK companies’ strong engineering and creative capabilities to develop partnerships for international expansion.
Singapore and the UK share a common working language, and similar legal, accounting, and political systems. This makes it easier for Singapore companies to do business in the UK. With a highly skilled and educated English-speaking workforce, you will not have problems understanding and dealing with your British counterparts when you set up your business in the UK.
The UK has voted to leave the EU and the new departure date is slated to be on 31 October 2019. Against a backdrop of rising protectionist sentiments, the UK maintains that it remains open for business.
In 2017, Singapore and the UK renewed the bilateral Economic and Business Partnership, staying the course for greater economic cooperation and new business opportunities in both countries.
Singapore shares common interest with the UK in ensuring business continuity and are like-minded partners on free and open trade. Singapore is open to having the EU-Singapore free trade deal benefits apply to the UK after Brexit.
As a Singapore company looking to venture overseas, do look beyond the headline uncertainties of Brexit and seize business opportunities in the UK. If your company is involved in consumer and retail, infrastructure and real estate, or technology and innovation, you can expect continued demand. Find out what are the specific industry opportunities in the UK.
That said, it pays to ready a contingency plan if you have EU workers in the UK. Monitor EU trade agreements closely to see how supply chains or sales of goods and services in the common market can affect you. Property prices in the UK has fallen by 10-20% especially in prime business areas. This is an opportunity for Singapore businesses, which now have more leverage with landlords to secure prime locations.
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