An index was released where Singapore was rated as the world’s third top financial mecca, falling just behind New York and London, though landing 2 points in front of Hong Kong and Tokyo. The index took 86 financial centers into account and polled around 2,520 different professionals in the financial industry.
The last time that the index was published, Hong Kong was just in front of Singapore in September, but this latest poll sets them in front with a relatively insignificant lead. Two factors that set Singapore apart from Hong Kong is the fact that English-speaking is more diverse and accessible in Singapore, along with the skills of employees being slightly better. Infrastructure is another main component that helped to put Singapore in front of Hong Kong, stating that it’s easier to travel throughout the financial district in Singapore.
It’s important to note that Singapore’s financial companies have access to much more support from the government as there are policies in place to tailor to the needs of businesses in the financial sector and other sectors as well. Whereas in Hong Kong, they promote being an entrepreneur but don’t offer as many incentives that help to boost the stock market.
Many professionals in the field see that Hong Kong and Singapore are two strong financial centers that work together in comparison to competing against one another. Singapore is a great hub for Asean, whereas Hong Kong is a sufficient hub for Greater China.
Other factors that are taken into consideration through the index constructed by Z/Yen Group include: financial sector development, infrastructure, and business environment.
Much like Singapore and Hong Kong, the two leaders London and New York are more complementary than trying to work against each other. One of the main factors that is taking away from London’s ability to compete with other financial sectors as there is an uncertainty about Britain exiting from the European Union. Together, both New York and London benefitted from human capital, advanced infrastructure (particularly in information technologies), and great regulations for each of their financial institutions.
This means that there is room for Hong Kong to improve in order to get into the second or first spot on the ranking. They need to take their ability to approve new projects into account, as their inability to avoid delays in project approval may have negatively impacted their rating. There are many projects that they currently have in the works pertaining to financial services and technology, none of which have been approved as of the date of the index. The longer that it takes for them to get to working on these projects will inevitably result in their ranking slipping further and further down the list.
It’s also time for Singapore to grab the reigns and start putting themselves into a position where they can compete with financial moguls such as London and New York. Whether by adding additional infrastructure or taking advantage of new and improved technologies for the financial sector, they also see room for improvement.
About the Author
Morris Edwards is a content writer at A1corp.com.sg, he writes different articles related to Doing Business in Singapore. A1 Business Pte Ltd offers Singapore Virtual Office address service and Singapore Company Registration.