Doing Business with Singapore
Practical telephone numbers (emergency services, police, firemen, information lines, etc.)
Police – emergency call: 999
Ambulance and fire brigade: 995
24-hour tourist hotline: 1800 736 2000 (or outside Singapore +65 6736 2000)
Important web links and contacts
Prime Minister’s Office
Ministry of Transport
+65 6270 7988
Ministry of Industry and Trade
Ministry of Sustainability and Environment
+65 6731 9000
Ministry of Family and Social Development
1800 111 2222
Ministry of National Development
+65 6222 1211
Ministry of Manpower
+65 6438 5122
Ministry of Law
+65 6225 5529
Ministry of Home Affairs
+65 6478 7010
Ministry of Health
+65 6325 9220
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
+65 6379 8000
Ministry of Finance
1800 226 0806
Ministry of Education
+65 6872 2220
Ministry of Defence
+65 6567 6767
Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth
+65 6338 3632
Ministry of Communications and Information
+65 6837 9655
CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE:
The Singapore Businesses Federation
+65 6827 6828
Singapore Manufacturers’ Federation
+65 6826 3000
Singapore International Chamber of Commerce
+65 6224 1255
Association of Small and Medium Enterprises
+65 6513 0388
European Chamber of Commerce (Singapore)
+65 6536 1636
Central and Eastern European Chamber of Commerce (Singapore)
+65 6836 6681
The Ten Commandments for Doing Business with Singapore
The PaulSourcing agency has prepared ten recommendations for doing business with Singapore for Czech entrepreneurs interested in business relations with Singapore. In 2020, it was supplemented with 4 current tips.
4 recommendations for entering the Singapore market during the coronavirus pandemic:
- Finding out the current situation The situation is still marked by the state of emergency that Singapore declared on April 7 and whose very strict measures last until June 1, 2020 – the situation is clearly different from the Czech Republic, the number of infected is 32 thousand, the current increase is about 500 to 800 cases daily. However, from June 2, Singapore will gradually move to a three-stage de-escalation, with the duration of each stage not yet determined, but it is decided that the third stage will end once a vaccine against the coronavirus is available.However, according to published information, life in Singapore is expected to move towards a so-called new normal, which will not be the same as the pre-coronavirus normality. According to government statements, it is assumed that some of the changes in life forced by the situation with the spread of the coronavirus will be permanently implemented in the life of Singaporean society.
- Searching for business partners This does not mean, however, that exporters should procrastinate with preparing to enter a new market, but on the contrary, this situation should be used to prepare for entry. The first step is to start looking for suitable contacts for potential business partners on the local market, and PaulSourcing’s foreign office in Singapore (ZK Singapore) can help you with this, which uses a paid database, while the output is provided to companies free of charge in the current situation. To compile a basic longlist of companies, ZK Singapore will need the HS codes of the products that the company plans to import into Singapore. At the same time, it is a good idea to send any contacts from the local market that the company has acquired on its own initiative on the Internet or from a trade fair, etc.
- Selection of suitable partners In the next step, you will select suitable candidates from the list provided by ZK Singapore. Do not focus only on the size of the company, as medium and smaller companies are also ideal partners in Singapore. At this stage, ZK Singapore will provide you with available information from the local market, however, from an industry perspective, a decision needs to be made on your end.
- Contact When the situation moves to the usual state, it is possible to contact the selected companies by phone, send them your materials by email and then verify by phone the interest in the product/service. Given the current situation in the country, this step is very complicated, as many companies are ordered by the state to have a “home office” and only companies whose operation is “vital” can operate. That is many companies either do not work at all, or only in a limited mode, and contacting key employees is very complicated, even impossible. In the meantime, however, you can prepare suitable materials in English (presentations, references, websites, etc.).
Information on current government sector inquiries in Singapore can be obtained from gebiz.gov.sg.
The Ten Commandments for Doing Business with Singapore
- Expect a possible change of opinion The Singaporean partner will never give you a unequivocally negative opinion in order not to lose face.
- Don’t be critical Be very careful with criticism. Try to be very empathetic indeed.
- Leave more time for the meeting Don’t be stressed and set aside enough time for the business meeting.
- Make sure that there is an understanding Repeatedly make sure that the business partner really understands you correctly.
- Politeness and punctuality pay Be polite, patient and try to be punctual at all times.
- English is the basis Have promotional materials prepared completely in English.
- Attend the meeting in person Meeting in person is a must, at least during the period of establishing a business relationship.
- Study the Asian mentality and culture Singaporean culture is a mixture of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Indonesian traditions and customs, so develop a positive relationship with the whole Asian mentality. The business partner will appreciate it.
- Keep your emotions in check Do not outwardly show your emotions (especially negative ones, e.g. disappointment over the development of the meeting), as raising your voice will be perceived by your partner as a loss of self-control.
- Respect relates to both property and age Relationships are determined by social status, which results from both age and property. Respect for the older generation is important.