Norwegian companies take a positive view on the business climate in Singapore despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new report. Going forward Norwegian companies in Singapore expect both higher turnover and net hiring.
The report is based on representative survey responses from a range of different Norwegian companies with a presence in the city-state.
It marks the first Business Climate Survey conducted by Team Norway in Singapore with an aim to increase the understanding of how Norwegian companies are faring in Singapore, including their views about the future and the challenges they are facing. The initiative was spearheaded by Innovation Norway in collaboration with the Norwegian embassy and the Norwegian Business Association (NBAS).
Companies have a positive outlook
The Norwegian business community in Singapore is diverse and totals around 200 companies, representing one of the highest concentrations of Norwegian business interests in any city outside of Norway. The Team Norway report captures valuable information about Norwegian business interests in Singapore. For example, roughly 30 percent of Norwegian companies here have entered Singapore in the last five years.
Furthermore, the report reveals a strong economic outlook for Norwegian companies going forward. More than half of companies in the survey reported being profitable in the last 12 months and clear majority said they expect higher turnover in the coming 12 months. Close to two thirds of the survey respondents said they view the current business climate as good or very good. Norwegian companies also underscored the importance of Singapore’s role as a hub and door-opener to the rest of the region.
Challenges reaching customers and hiring
At the same time, the business community report does report challenges, some related to the still ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. A majority of companies reported difficulty reaching prospective and existing customers. This comes as no surprise given the tight restrictions on travelling to Singapore and the rest of the South Asia region, which only recently has started to loosen up. Some companies also detailed difficulties with getting work permits for foreign workers and bringing in talent from overseas. One company pointed to a shortage of qualified software developers.
We hope you find this Team Norway report useful. Do not hesitate to reach out should you have any feedback.
The article is written by Erik Bucher Johannsessen, Innovation Norway. He was also the project lead for the business climate survey, and wrote the report.