Working in Singapore - The Facts and Figures
Benefits of working in Singapore
There are many benefits to working in Singapore and these are primarily:
- Low corporate and personal taxes
- Dynamic and highly skilled work force
- Global business hub with world class infrastructure
- Political stability and open business policies
- Clean environment
- Cosmopolitan lifestyle and affordable cost of living
- Top rankings in terms of ease of doing business, business environment, a place to live, etc...
||Business Competitiveness Index 2007-2008
||World Economic Forum 2007-08|
||World's easiest place to do business
||World Bank report: 'Doing Business 2007: How to Reform'|
||Best Business Environment' spot in Asia Pacific
||EIU Country Forecast, January 2007|
||World for Global Potential Competitiveness
||Japan Center of Economic Research, 2007|
||Best Labour Force
||BERI's 2007 Labour Force Evaluation Measure report|
||Most attractive investment incentives in Asia
||IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2005|
||Best Investment Potential Worldwide
||BERI Report August 2006|
||Best Investment Potential in Asia
||BERI Report August 2006|
||Best in avoiding Bureaucracy and Red Tape in Asia
||Political and Economic Risk Consultancy, June 2006|
||Of the World's Top 20 Most Globalised Nations
||A.T. Kearney/FOREIGN POLICY Magazine Globalization|
||The best place to live for Asian expatriates
||ECA International 2006|
Economy & Job Market
What is the background to the current local job market situation?The talent shortage is no longer a local phenomenon, but a global one. Organisations, facing problems hiring suitable employees both regionally and locally in the expansion of businesses or replacement requirements, now look to foreign talent as an important resource.
How easy is it for international candidates to find employment?
The World Economic Forum ranked Singapore as the most competitive economy in Asia in its 2006-2007 Global Competitiveness report; while globally, Singapore ranks second after the US. The economic outlook is positive.
Singapore offers ample opportunities for foreign talent who are keen to apply their skills here. Many MNCs and small and medium sized companies have set up their presence in Singapore, with many using Singapore as their regional hub and gateway to the other Asian markets.
What language skills are required?
English is the first language but other languages such as Mandarin, Malay and Tamil may also be spoken. Business is conducted in English.
Which job functions and industries are the most in demand?
There are certain industries where being fluent in Chinese is not necessary and where some skill sets are in short supply. These are the sectors that are most likely to recruit expatriate staff:
- Internal auditors
- Finance managers
- Banking & Financial Services
- Product Control
- ISDA Confirmation
- UK Regulatory Reporting
- Client Servicing
- Change Management
- Brand Managers
- Business Development Managers
- Merchandising Managers
- Brand Managers
- Operations Managers
- Visual Merchandising Managers
- Healthcare & Life Sciences
- Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Research positions
- Medical Affairs
- Human Resources
- VPs/AVPs Human Resources
- HR Business Partners
- Regional Human Resources Managers/Directors
- HR Generalists
- Compensation & Benefits Directors/Managers
- Talent Management
- Expatriate Management
- Organisational Development
- Industrial Technical Ops
- Building & Construction - Project Directors, Project Managers, Construction Manager. This can be further split into Construction in Commercial, High Rise, Mixed use, Industrial and/ or Residential.
- Pharmaceuticals - Quality functions such as cGMP Auditor, Supplier Quality Engineers, QA Managers and Quality Compliance Engineers. Validation Engineers, Automation Engineers
- HSE Managers
- Wind Power positions
- Oil & Gas positions
- Reliability Engineers (Refinery)
- IT Financial Services Institutions
- Head of IT Applications/Infrastructure
- IT Project Directors/Managers/Solution Architects/Senior Developers
- IT Commerce
- Direct Sales
- Channel Sales
- IT Project Directors/Managers/Solution Architects
- IT Managers
- ERP implementation
- Structured Products
- Corporate Banking
- Investment Banking
- Debt Capital Markets
- IP/IT Legal Counsel
- Legal Counsel Pharmaceutical
- Legal Counsel Oil &Gas
- Corporate Counsel Hospitality
- Corporate/Commercial Counsel
- Manufacturing & Semiconductors
- R&D Senior Programme Managers
- Analogue IC Designers
- Digital IC Designers
- R&D Firmware Engineers
- R&D Hardware Engineers
- PR Agency roles
- Digital Media
- Supply Chain/Procurement
- Director of Operations
- Supply Chain Directors
- Logistics Directors
- Global Sourcing Managers/WW Procurement Managers
What types of companies recruit international candidates?
Multinational companies with an Asia Pacific presence are the most likely to recruit international candidates. Companies also consider recruiting international candidates if they cannot find enough suitable local candidates or for certain niche roles.
How does Hudson work with international candidates?
If you are looking for a job in Asia, the best option is to sign up for the Hudson Job Alerts service. You can then have targeted jobs sent automatically to you.
You can also look for jobs on www.hudson.com and apply for them, if you have all the suitable qualifications.
In addition, you can send Hudson your CV to email@example.com and detail what type of jobs you want. If your skills are applicable, we can add your details to our database. If your skills match an opportunity that we have, one of our Recruitment Consultants will contact you for a confidential discussion.
The EP is for foreigners who earn a fixed monthly salary of more than S$2,500 (US$1,743); and have recognised qualifications.
There are three categories of Employment Pass: P1, P2 and Q Pass. The P Pass is for foreigners seeking professional, managerial or executive and specialist jobs.
Through various programmes offered by the government, expatriates can apply for a permanent residence visa either before coming to Singapore or after starting work in Singapore.
For more information on Employment Pass, go to
Employment Pass holders can apply for the Dependant's Pass and/or Long-Term Social Visit Pass for their family members. Depending on the Pass Type, pass holders may be able to apply for a Dependant's Pass or long term social visit pass for their spouse, children or parents, parents-in-law, etc.
There is a wide array of housing for professionals in Singapore that suits every lifestyle and budget. Public housing developments can be rented and these come with their own shopping and entertainment hub, education and healthcare facilities. Private properties, available for rent or purchase, can include condominiums, houses and bungalows.
Pay and Tax
Pay and benefits
Please refer to the salary information on our web site for further details.
Singapore has one of the lowest tax rates in the world.
The amount of personal income tax payable depends on whether you hold tax resident or non-resident status, your income, and the tax reliefs/rebates eligible for.
You are considered resident if you are physically present or employed in Singapore for 183 days or more during the year proceeding the year of assessment, in a capacity other than that of a director of a company.
You are generally considered non-resident if you have been in Singapore for less than 183 days in a calendar year.
Singapore’s Government Sales Tax (GST) is a broad-based consumption tax levied on import of goods, as well as nearly all supplies of goods and services. The only exemptions are for the sales and leases of residential properties and most financial services. Export of goods and international services are zero-rated.
Education, Healthcare and Pensions
There is a strong focus on education in Singapore. Teachers are well-qualified while schooling facilities are amongst the best in the world.
Your child may submit his or her application directly to the schools at all levels. Approach the schools for admission to kindergartens, private schools, universities or polytechnics. To study in Singapore, you are required to either apply for a Student Pass or a Dependant’s Pass. International schools are very expensive and usually have long waiting lists, so it is worth investigating this early.
Singapore has a world-class healthcare system, which is well respected throughout South East Asia. All private and government hospitals in Singapore are equipped with the most up-to-date diagnostic technology.
Dental care, optometry and paramedical services, as well as speech, occupational, and physical therapy are widely available across the island-state.
The standard of healthcare in local hospitals is good and the costs are very reasonable.
You can pay for your healthcare costs through medical insurance policies. Most insurance companies offer a range of medical policies, such as hospitalisation plans and critical illness plans. You may also pay your hospitalisation expenses and medical insurance premiums from your Medisave or MediShield accounts which form part of your Central Provident Fund (CPF).
If you bought an insurance policy in your previous country of residence, they may be able to service your policy here if they have a branch in Singapore. It will be easier for you to check and settle all insurance matters before moving here.
The Central Provident Fund (CPF) is a comprehensive social security savings plan which has provided many working Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs) with a sense of security and confidence in their old age.
The overall scope and benefits of the CPF encompass retirement, healthcare, home ownership, family protection and asset enhancement.
Employees and their employers make monthly contributions to the CPF.
To open an account in Singapore, you will need copies of your passport, employer's confirmation of employment letter, and a statement from a bank in your home country. Many credit/charge cards are widely used here.
You can bring in foreign domestic workers either on your own or by going through an agency. All applications have to be submitted to the Work Pass Division (WPD) under the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).