Why Singapore is more competitive?

Singapore’s investment in Research & Development (R&D) sector has increased the competitiveness of Singapore among its competitors like India,China etc.

Also this has led to hike in creation of quality jobs in Singapore’s companies and also diversified the economy and hence made Singapore more adaptive and stimulating towards global conditions and changes.Due to this, the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien, will continue to invest in R&D and will increase the budget of R&D expenditure to 3.5 percent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) by 2015.

In 2009, money spent on R&D was $6 billion which was 2.28 percent pf GDP. With continuous growth in investment in R&D sector , emphasis is more on innovations and making the life of the people simple and easy.

To do the same,collaboration of strengths,positive points of various universities and research institutes in basic research will be done. For instance, Procter & Gamble, which produces consumer related products is joining hands with A*STAR in order to develop latest technologies for its products across the World.

Lao Airlines from Vientiane enters Singapore

On 28th November 2011, Lao Airlines from Vientiane was welcomed in Singapore at the Singapore Changi Airport. Changi got its 11 th new city link in 2011. There would be three times a week service between Singapore and Vientiane. Hence Singapore is now connected with all its nine ASEAN neighbours and that too with direct flights.Due to good relations between Singapore and Vientiane, this decision has been taken.

Some interesting points to note that

  • Singapore is among the top 10 investors of Lao. Mostly the investment is done in the sectors like manufacturing and hospitality.
  • Also there has been a growth of 40 percent yearly in the bilateral trade in 2011 from January to September which is amounted to US $ 29 million.
  • Singapore and Laos are cooperating with each other in the sectors like education,tourism and healthcare, since Laos joined ASEAN in 1997.
  • The number of travelers going from Singapore to Laos grew about 8 percent yearly i.e. 6100 in 2010 and for vice- versa i.e. from Laos to Singapore, the percentage is 25  which is 5200 in 2010.
  • It is predicted that the this new direct city link will boost the business and leisure travel between both countries.

 

Lao Airlines will use its brand new A320 aircraft in a two class configuration and has seating arrangement for 142 passengers.

Also the services will take place on Tuesdays,Thursdays and Sundays from Vientiane at 1505 hours and will reach Singapore on the same day at 1830 hours.
The airlines will take off from Singapore at 1940 hours and will arrive in Vientiane at 2105 hours.

With this new service, Lao Airlines will give Changi’s airport strong link to Europe and Southwest Pacific in order to have presence in these markets.

Sustainable Construction is the need of the hour in Singapore

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) in Singapore wants the companies in Singapore to go for sustainable constructions as the government has committed that it will give funds for such constructions at the 3rd International Holcim Awards for Asia Pacific, said by CEO of Building and Construction Authority, Dr John Keong.

Also he told about the plan of Singapore to work towards zero landfill,building capabilities among local industry players and decreasing the needs of basic construction materials.

So this shows that the Singaporean Government wants the sustainability to be achieved as soon as possible. This can also be supported from the fact that the Government has pledged $ 15 million in order to support the Sustainable Construction Capability Development Fund for capabilities like using recycled material for building and construction.

In the year 2011, BCA got 60 proposals and $ 3 million and hence Dr Keong urge companies to make use of this fund.

Biopolis in Singapore

About Biopolis
Biopolis is a revolutionary idea since it has facilitated scientists from different countries and fields of biomedical industry to come together to work, share researches and communicate with each other. Over 2000 researchers, technicians and scientists are working together here.
The organization offers world-class research facilities. Researchers have benefited largely from the resources offered by the Biopolis Shared Facilities (BSF). Under the BSF projects, services like glassware washing and media preparation are offered that have allowed scientists to optimize their research time.

The current services offered by BSF are as follows:

  • Confocal Microscopy
  • DNA Sequencing
  • Flow Cytometry
  • High Content Screening
  • Histopathology
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Microarray
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
  • X-ray Crystallography

The media preparation center produces in-house media for widely used tissue culture and bacterial culture.
Biopolis: The newest tourist attraction of Singapore
Apart from being a world-class facility for research, Biopolis is also a popular tourist destination of Singapore. The research center has the following to entertain visitors:

  • Shops
  • Restaurants
  • Cafes
  • Food court
  • Fast food center
  • Pub
  • Children’s corner

There is also an auditorium that can accommodate 480 people. Moreover, there are four lecture theaters with a sitting capacity of 250 each and 13 meeting halls located within its boundaries.

Bilateral relations between Singapore and Malaysia

Good political relations between Singapore and Malaysia should encourage companies in both the countries to excel in the sectors of manufacturing and other services by collaborating with each other.

Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore’s Trade and Industry Minister, said that both the countries should take advantage of each others strengths and this would be possible if Singapore and Malaysia will join their hands together and works towards each others benefits. The plus point is that the compatibility between Iskandar Malaysia and Singapore will help in integration of processes easily and quickly.

As claimed by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority, the fifth- largest investor in Malaysia was Singapore which invested 1.9 billion ringgit (S$779.7 million) in the first 8 months of 2011 ,for manufacturing investments.

According to sources, bilateral trade between Malaysia and Singapore raised by 3.8 percent which is S$ 92.6 billion and that too in just first 10 months of 2011. With this Malaysia became the largest trading partner of Singapore.

Malaysian government has also taken steps to improve the business environment and services sector.

Malaysia’s Minister for International Trade and Industry expects that Foreign Direct Investments in 2011 will be higher than 2010.

About Singapore

Shopping in Singapore

The happens to be one of the most popular shopping destinations in the world. You can shop here in one of its many shopping malls in Orchard Road as well as in local shopping districts like Chinatown, Arab Street, Little India, Holland Village, and Katong. You should not also miss Marina Bay and Clarke Quay.

Tourist attractions in Singapore

Apart from its sprawling shopping malls, it is home to a range of popular tourist attractions and some of them are as follows:

  •     Singapore Zoo
  •     Jurong Bird Park
  •     Sentosa Island
  •     Escape Theme Park
  •     Asian Civilization Museum
  •     Underwater World
  •     Singapore Night Safari

National Reserve Parks

  •     Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
  •     Central Catchment Nature Reserve
  •     Pulau Ubin
  •     Sungei Buloh Nature Park

Theme Parks

  •     Universal Studios Singapore
  •     Chinese and Japanese Gardens
  •     G-Max Reverse Bungy
  •     Haw Par Villa
  •     Singapore Discovery Center
  •     Singapore Flyer
  •     Singapore Science Center
  •     Songs of the Sea

Nightlife in Singapore

The city is famous for its vibrant nightlife. It houses some of the best pubs, discos and casinos. You can also enjoy a Night Safari of Singapore Zoo. Many cultural events are organized across the city during the night to let you experience its lively atmosphere. Some of the favorite nightlife destinations in the city are as follows:

  •     Central Business District
  •     Civic District Nightlife
  •     Clarke Quay and Riverside
  •     Holland Village- Dempsey Hill

 

Singapore-an ultimate destination

Singapore is a popular tourist destination for its many shopping malls, natural beauty, resorts and exciting nightlife. Thousands of tourists from different parts of the Asian continent as well as the world visit this place every year. It is a city-state and enjoys an exclusive status of being the most happening economic hub of the continent.

Location and Geography

Singapore is an island country located south of the Malay Peninsula. It is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor. The country is made up of 63 islands and though the city is highly urbanized, rainforest covers more than 50% of its landscape.

The Singapore government has undertaken the policy to expand the size of the state through land reclamation. The current landmass of the country stands at 704 square kilometers. Urbanization has destroyed most of the rainforest of the country and now only 23% of the total landmass of the state belongs to forests and national reserves.

The city enjoys a typical tropical climate, which is warm year round with a comfortable winter season.

It is a favorite beach destination. Its natural beaches were destroyed during the process of land reclamation. So, most of Singapore’s existing beaches are man made. Given below is a list of its main beaches:

  • East Coast Park Beach
  • Punggol Beach: It is a historical World War II massacre site
  • Sembawang Park
  • West Coast Park
  • Pasir Ris Park
  • Changi Beach

Tourism in Singapore

Tourism is the most important business in Singapore. It is full of excitements and adventures to keep tourists from different walks of life engrossed. Over 990,000 international visitors had visited the city during February 2011.

It is regarded as one of the safest tourist destinations in the world. The crime rate in the state against tourists is significantly low. English is a widely spoken language which further helps in attracting large number of western tourists to the country. The place is known for its endless options for shoppers and food lovers. However, it also happens to be a famous destination for Eco tourism.

 

How various places in Singapore got their names?

  • Pickering Street- Named after William Pickering- foremost protector of Chinese, who was first European to speak and read Chinese at that time.
  • Kim Seng Road-Named after Tan Kim Seng who was a local philanthropist for his contributions to society
  • Hill Street-Named so due to its location at the foot of Canning Hill.
  • High Street- As it was built on higher ground
  • Chinatown-In 1819 when Singapore was first founded by Sir Stamford Raffles, the very first immigrants arrived at the mouth of the Singapore River in 1821 from Xiamen, in Fujian province, China. Raffles set aside Chinatown for the Chinese Community in his Singapore Town Plan in 1842. Thus Chinatown which was rich in Chinese culture became a place of interest both for Chinese and tourists.
  • Telok Ayer Street-In malay, ‘Telok Ayer’ means ‘Street by the bay”. It was South-east shoreline of Singapore at once point of time.
  • Pagoda Street-Named after Sri Mariamman Temple located on the corner of the street. The Gopuram -high tower of the temple was found familiar to a pagoda and hence the name of the road.
  • Sago Street-There were plenty of sago factories in the area, hence it was named sago street.

Cost of Living in Singapore – some do’s and don’t’s

Singapore is among the top 10 cities when it comes to expenses for expatriates. It is also one of the 5 most costly cities in Asia allowing with Tokyo, Hong Kong, Osaka, and Beijing. The maximum costs are incurred in case of rent, schooling and transport. However, there are several ways of minimizing cost of living in Singapore.

Rent costs can be reduced if several people share an apartment or if they live in HDBs (Housing and Development Board. One more option could be staying away from downtown Singapore. However, such a move is unlikely to be much effective as real estate prices in the south Asian country are always on an upward curve.

There are several other factors that play an important role in determining the costs and standards of living in Singapore – the condition and location of the property in question. It is advisable that people opt for public transport in the country as purchasing and maintaining private vehicles is a costly affair.

Fees at international schools in Singapore can approximately range from S$6,000 to S$20,000 on a yearly basis. Such expenses could have a significant bearing on one’s budget in Singapore. There are good job opportunities in Singapore.One can refer to the job sites or can take the help of the placement consultants of Singapore in order to get a good job.

As per estimates of Singapore Education, international students end up spending almost S$750 to S$2000 per year. In case of students who have scholarship facilities and whose accommodation expenses are taken care of monthly expenses could range from S$200 to S$300 approximately.

When it comes to comparison housing costs are significantly more for people who move over from countries such as Philippines or India. Various agencies such as Xpatxperience have analyzed that it is necessary to earn at least S$78,000 per year to meet expenses and maintain a decent lifestyle.

Tax is an important consideration while determining the expenses in Singapore. Taxes are lower in Singapore compared to the rest of Asia, Europe and Australia. It is advisable for overseas professionals to ask for school and housing expenses to be covered while deciding on their salaries.

Residents should also avail FairPrice while shopping for groceries. In case people want to stay fit they should go for community gymnasiums. For other personal expenses such as books purchasing second hand books to start with or renting them can be recommended.

The rates for housing properties within the main city vary from $4000 to $25,000 depending on the type of property. For residential properties outside the main city, rates range from $1500 to $6000.

Singapore travel – come, live your dreams

Singapore is a veritable tourists’ paradise – there are many things to see and more things to do. The beaches at Sentosa Island and East Coast count among the leading tourist destinations and integral parts of the Singapore travel experience. If you are a foodie then Singapore is the place to be with its immense variety – Chinatown is well known for its authentic Chinese delicacies.

Lovers of Indian cuisine can frequent Little India and people who prefer fusion food can opt for Kampong Glam that offers an eclectic combination of Arabian and Malaysian dishes. The East Coast is well known for its sea food and its claim to fame is the chili and black pepper crab.

If you are one with a feel for things historical it is recommended that you visit Bras Basah Area that lies to the east of Orchard or the area north of Singapore River – these localities still retain many remnants of Singapore’s colonial past and have various museums and historic buildings.

Singapore offers plenty of options when it comes to wildlife and nature with the Singapore Zoo being the major name in this regard. However, there are other choices as well such as Botanical Gardens and Jurong Bird Park. Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is also worth visiting for its vast repertoire of plant species. The tortoise and turtle sanctuary at Chinese Gardens is a must visit as well.

Orchard Road has the maximum number of shopping malls in Singapore and the majority of the wonderful skyscrapers in this south Asian city. Marina Bay and Bugis also house some good malls that are sure to attract the interest of shoppers.

Singapore is well known for its religious diversity with several faiths such as Buddhism, Baha’i, Taoism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism and Judaism – the various shrines and religious structures are also among its top tourist attractions. Some of the names that come immediately to mind are Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery, Burmese Buddhist Temple, Sri Mariamman Hindu temple and Masjid Sultan.

Culture occupies a major part of Singapore and as such there are plenty of tourist spots for the discerning visitors. Esplanade Theatre located in Marina Bay tops the list – it hosts the Singapore Symphony Orchestra on occasions apart from other shows and performances. There are plenty of options for ones who love their golf or formula one racing. You can also check out the Snow City if you are in the mood for some skiing.