The optimism of Norwegian companies about expanding in Singapore contrasts with concerns about the high cost of operations, reveals a recent survey by the Norwegian Business Association Singapore (NBAS).
This survey conducted among NBAS 122 membership companies sheds light on the pivotal role of Norwegian enterprises in Singapore. The survey provides a glimpse into the employment trends and expansion plans of Norwegian entities in the city-state.
The survey data shows a median employee count of 31 across the participating companies, signifying a strong Norwegian footprint in Singapore. With an estimated total of 10,000 to 12,000 employees across all Norwegian companies, the workforce primarily consists of Singaporeans at 54.5%, with Norwegians accounting for 4.5%.
Highlighting the survey’s positive findings, Norway’s Ambassador to Singapore, H.E. Eivind S. Homme, remarks, “One of the most encouraging aspects revealed by the survey is the strong ambition among Norwegian companies to further expand their presence in Singapore.” The survey indicates a bullish stance with 80% of companies planning workforce expansions, targeting an average growth rate of more than 120%, thereby affirming Singapore’s strategic importance in the Asia-Pacific business sphere.
Severe cost concerns
On the other hand, the survey points to growing concerns about Singapore’s escalating operational costs. A quarter of the companies are contemplating resource reallocation to neighboring Southeast Asian nations, prompted by the rising costs. Despite Singapore’s advantageous business climate, competitive salaries, and skilled labor force, these increasing expenses are pushing firms to explore other regional opportunities.
NBAS committed to support
These findings resonate with wider issues faced by Singapore’s business community, as highlighted in the annual National Business Survey by the Singapore Business Federation. Common challenges include cost management, talent acquisition, and regulatory complexities, prevalent across different industry sectors.
In sum, while Norwegian companies in Singapore are poised for growth, they must navigate the challenges associated with high operational costs. Leonard Stornes, President of NBAS, emphasizes the association’s role, stating, “Looking ahead, NBAS – together with our partners in Team Norway, the Embassy and Innovation Norway – remains committed to supporting Norwegian companies in Singapore as they navigate challenges and capitalize on growth opportunities within Singapore’s dynamic business landscape.”