Singapore: a well “grown-up” & attractive centre…

Historically ranked 1st, Hong Kong is home to the highest concentration of banking institutions in the world (over 71 of the largest international institutions have operations in the territory). As a bubbling and active city, Hong Kong remains a solid reference for any investor willing to develop to Asia. But things have been changing significantly over the last years. Without undermining Hong Kong’s obvious business oriented environment, Singapore has been very active and quite nimble in its way to impose itself as a safe and stable heaven for business: tax friendly policies, excellent infrastructure, low corruption, strategic location are some of the main factors why Singapore keeps attracting so many businesses.

….complimentary to Hong Kong’s historical supremacy

Are Singapore and Hong Kong battling for the 1st rank? Not at all or let’s say it is not so straightforward as Hong Kong and Singapore have common interests in preserving each other’s influence over the whole Asian region. There is no clear black and white distinction between these two giants. The two are and will definitely remain main international business centers but shall gradually gain regional competencies instead: Hong Kong as a gateway to Chinese markets and Singapore as the perfect hub for accessing South East Asia growing pool of wealth.

Emerging markets, and more particularly Asia, will definitely lead global wealth growth over the next 10 years

In fact, according to most recent data provided by PWC, global current assets under management (AUM) amount to about USD68 trillion and are expected to increase to about USD101 trillion by 2020, with the Asian Pacific region playing a leading role in such growth. Determined to benefit from this huge potential, Asian governments have been at work to provide the region with an effective and sustainable investment platform. The Hong Kong Stock Connect and the Asean Fund passport schemes are clearly the materialization of such ambition. Large Wealth Management institutions are already reorganizing their resources across Asia, strengthening their pool of employees between Hong Kong and Singapore, ready to benefit from Asia’s sophistication trend.

Are you ready?

But what about smaller institutions, be it financial or not? Do you have enough time or resource to explore your potential? Without any local presence, how do you envision your expansion to Asia? If you’re already thinking about it, without any idea of how to manage it, fill out the contact page and we’ll be more than happy to discuss business development options with you!



Greeted by some or decried by others, the so-called “economic globalization” has been a source of significant changes over the last 50 years, leading to the development of multinational groups with subsidiaries in a number of countries. Supported by the rise of an ever growing pool of wealth, emerging markets are high on investors watch lists, eager to benefit from additional channels of distribution, lower costs of production or merely business opportunities.

While setting up local branches or developing joint ventures seems relatively straightforward for large multinationals that already benefit from an extended global network, small to medium sized companies are still struggling to expand into new and unfamiliar markets in Asia. Developing to Asia should be prepared with great care, so as to secure a profitable and sustained expansion.

Below are a few tips that must be kept in mind at all times for business success in Asia:


While this may sound obvious for the majority of entrepreneurs willing to expand to Asia, experience demonstrates that the lack of nimbleness is one of the first sources of business failure. Take your time, show respect and do not try to rush processes.


Asians prefer to build personal friendship and trust through face to face meetings before making business commitments. If you can’t plan for frequent travels to the region, having a local contact will be key for your business development plan and help shorten the cycle. This is even more important for small to medium sized companies that need to build up trust and reputation before getting gradual acceptance and recognition. Trust is not easily given, but once acquired, it can be a guarantee of long-term business ties.


Conduct a thorough study before entering any Asian market and committing to business transactions. Investigation should include but not be limited to: regulations and investigation on relevant parties such as local business partners, local suppliers, etc. Asia is a huge puzzle and business transparency and integrity can dramatically differ from one country to another.


Gift giving in Asia can help seal prospective deals and initiate long term business ties. However it can also be a source of key misunderstandings! Spending amount, when and to whom to give are subtle differences that can radically change the direction of your business relation! Corporate gifts have to be managed with great care.