Jim Rogers once said, “If you were smart in 1807, you moved to London, if you were smart in 1907 you moved to New York, and if you are smart in 2007, you move to Asia.” It is definitely true, 4 decades later the Asia Pacific region is home to the many multinational companies’ especially Singapore and Australia.
What may be the reason? Why do these companies choose Asia Pacific countries? And is Asia Pacific is the way to go, which APAC countries should you choose to establish your next company headquarters?
Singapore is known for its unique position in the global economy and it’s pivotal role as a business epicenter in the heart of Asia and that is why multinational companies like General Motors, Google, Uber, Twitter, Merck, and IBM, among the few, find Singapore as a hot spot for their ventures’ regional APAC HQ. It also has a stable government and political system, effective laws and regulations and low corruption rate.
Singapore is not only hosting companies with such a conducive setting to run businesses, but the country is ranked as #2 worldwide in terms of labor force talent-competitive in GTCI 2015 report and stacks as #1 in The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2015 BER report.
Corporate Tax Rate
Singapore stacks at #1 in term of lowest corporate tax rate. It is fixed at 8.5% on taxable income up to USD $221, 000 and a flat 17% for taxable income above USD $221, 000.
Dynamic Business Environment
Australia’s major financial hubs like Sydney and Melbourne are known for their history as being the world’s richest cities in the late 19th century Victorian Gold Rush. They have witnessed a foray of notable tech startups establishing their APAQ HQ. Companies like Google and Facebook have long resided in Sydney while Slack, Dropbox, Survey Monkey and Buzzfeed have just recently made their beachhead presence in Melbourne. Australia is known for its world-class infrastructure, highly skilled workforces, dynamic business environment, superior lifestyle and a supportive government.
Talent Competitive Labor Force
Like Singapore, Australia ranks #9 in GTCI report and that made them as the only APAC countries listed under the top 10 among other 93 countries in term of their ability to grow, attract and retain talent.
As Australia makes it’s way to the 4th wave of engagement with Asia, the Lucky Country has established steady platforms in ASEAN, China and India and is currently approaching the new frontier markets by opening up in countries like Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Mongolia and Kazakhstan. Here you can read more on OECD Observer’s review about the power of trade and market proximity between Australia and Asia.
Corporate Tax Rate
Australia ranks at #3 in terms of lowest corporate tax rate. It is fixed at 28.5% on taxable income less than USD $2 million per annum and 30% for taxable income more than USD $2 million.
Asia Pacific Region as a Tech Hub
While Singapore and Australia have become the main attraction for many multinational corporate entities and notable startups in establishing their HQ, their neighbouring countries like Thailand and Vietnam also propose companies with some great reasons for business operations. Lazada for example chose Thailand as their hub for product development and regional marketing to maximize cost savings.
Lazada IHQ Ltd, a subsidiary of Lazada, is launched due to the fact that “Thailand and Indonesia are known as the most largest e-commerce markets for Lazada” said Alessandro Piscini, CEO of Lazada Thailand.
Russell Reynolds Associates recent survey of the largest 100 technology companies in the United States and Europe APAC headquarters:
All in all, we hope the comparative list above can help businesses to decide on which best countries in APAC to headquarter their business next. Besides that, this infographic of Best APAC countries to start Business 2016 may also add some valuable information for your consideration.