Going global? Don't leave your destination to chance
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: Going global? Don't leave your destination to chance

Every successful internationalisation journey starts with the right destination. This may have become a familiar adage to businesses, but it doesn’t mean that identifying the right market to expand to has become any easier.

In fact, competition may be heating up in some markets – Southeast Asia is a perennial favourite of local businesses, for instance. In other markets, the business landscape has changed post-COVID.

That said, segments of opportunities are abound if you know where to look.

Mainstay markets: prime destinations with growing competition

Most Singapore businesses have expanded into Southeast Asia and China, according to the Singapore Business Federation’s latest survey. It’s unsurprising that these markets have become mainstays given their geographical proximity and steady economic growth, but their popularity suggests businesses may face competition as well, such as in Malaysia and Indonesia.

The key to unlocking opportunities in these markets? Venturing into lesser-known cities – like Penang, which is cementing itself as Malaysia’s manufacturing hub with manufacturing and tech-friendly infrastructure and incentives, and the Bayan Lepas Industrial Park, Malaysia’s first free trade zone.

Here are more markets to explore and venture into.


Markets with specific focus: for tech, innovation, and more

Mention the United States and Silicon Valley will come to mind. The US remains a world leader in technology and innovation, thanks to deep ecosystems that are home to top universities, leading tech companies, innovative multi-national companies, and active venture capital firms.

Some Singapore startups, like Lucence and igloocompany, are already making inroads in the US, paving the way for more homegrown startups to enter the dynamic market.

Similarly, Europe and India stand out for their specific strengths in sustainability and technology respectively. Tap our acceleration and co-innovation programmes under the Global Innovation Alliance to springboard into these markets.

Emerging markets: gain first-mover advantages

Did you know that Africa is a US$3 trillion market?

Taking the road less travelled into relatively untapped markets such as Africa and Latin America can pay dividends for early movers, with rapid urbanisation presenting opportunities across a wide range of industries including agribusiness, urban solutions, hospitality, manufacturing, ports and logistics, and innovation and technology.

Within West Africa, Ghana takes the spotlight with its stable political environment, diversified economy, and pro-business policies. In Latin America, Brazil is one to watch with its growing digital economy. Learn more about Africa at the upcoming Africa Singapore Business Forum, which has brought together over 5,000 business and government leaders from 30 countries since its launch.

Make your move

Whether your business is taking the first step into these markets or deepening presence, we can help.

Get support for business development, promotion and set-up costs under the Market Readiness Assistance Grant, which covers up to 50% of eligible costs for local SMEs.