At the 2014 International Development Conference hosted by KPMG and the United Nations Development Programme in Singapore recently, Lutfey Siddiqi, an Adjunct Professor at the Risk Management Institute of National University of Singapore shared his views on change readiness. He referred to KPMG’s 2013 ‘Change Readiness Index’, where Singapore was ranked first overall. Asiabiz Services recognizes that Singapore’s proactive government institutions as well as adaptable multinational corporations have helped it emerge as the undisputed winner in ‘Change Readiness’.

“Singapore offers flexible business policies and our agile government ensures that the business trends in Singapore are in line with the change in the global macroeconomic conditions. A number of international companies are expected to set their base here in the near future,” pointed Mr. James Nuben, Head of Taxation at Asiabiz Services.

Singapore’s agility ensures readiness for change

Change readiness is an important capability that a nation must possess and the way a country responds to, anticipates, evolves and takes advantage of the change, has a significant impact on its ability to achieve sustained economic growth. The KPMG’s ‘Change Readiness Index’ helps to gain a clear understanding of a country’s capability to withstand and capitalize on change. The index is made up of competencies in three broad sectors, enterprise or corporate sector, government and people or society.

Singapore has displayed best readiness for change by gaining the top position in overall ranking and number one ranking in both the enterprise and government sectors. This reflects agility of both the corporate world and the government institutions of Singapore. By having an open economy with supportive trade and foreign investment policies, Singapore is better able to exploit global trade opportunities.

The island nation features a smooth-functioning financial sector that ensures stable and efficient allocation of funds to global enterprises. A high-quality and well-functioning infrastructure makes it better positioned for smooth business and seamless international trade. Singapore harbors a culture of innovation and strong business environment.

Business haven, not a tax haven

The recent allegations on Singapore as a tax haven have been completely uprooted by the anti-tax evasive policies formulated by Singapore government. The government has announced a slew of measures to combat cross-border tax evasion and money laundering activities. These include strengthening of the ‘Exchange of Information’ network which comprises inter-government agreements to comply with transparent policies like FATCA. Here, the government has proved its ability to act fast against such financial crimes.

“With the top position in ‘Change Readiness Index’, Singapore has once again shown its brilliance in nurturing businesses from across the globe. It has displayed superior adaptability amid changing macroeconomic scenario. This nation is not a tax haven, but a true business haven,” concluded Mr. Nuben.

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