With the impact of globalization, countries are becoming important markets for consumer goods, more fundamentally than food products. The government of interest for future global ventures is Singapore, an island country in Southeast Asia. Its strategic location in South East Asia through sea routes is critical for international consumers. Singapore is a densely populated city-state with a population of 5.45 million. According to Global Edge Cyber Site, the gross reproduction rate per woman is 8.6 births per woman, while life expectancy is at 85.9 years (Reddy & van Dam, 2020). Singapore, through various measures, recognizes that population growth is essential to improving economic stability. While the birth rate is considered low, Singapore’s infant mortality is relatively low due to an extensive healthcare system (Bennett, 2018). The elderly population constitutes only 15% of the country’s total residents, making the population young, which is critical for a robust market. The adult literacy level is at 97.1 %, indicating a steady rise in education. With this, the people of Singapore can practice conscious buying products from informed aspects.
The ethnic composition of Singapore is predominantly Chinese with 74.3%, Malay tribe consists of 13.5%, Indian 9%, and minority ethnic composition consists of 3.2%. The business culture in Singapore is very competitive. The bicentennial culture that reflects on self-determination, multiculturalism, and openness has been critical in opening up the nation to be a modern-day business destination. However, with the majority of the ethnic composition being Chinese, business models must be harmonized to meet the cultural demands of the prevalent ethnic population of Singaporeans multiculturalism (Reddy & van Dam, 2020). Four main languages are used in Singapore; Malay is the national language, while English, Mandarin Chinese, and Tamil are the other languages used in Singapore. The fast food firm will be able to find skilled employees in Singapore who can speak diverse languages.
Singapore has several religions due to its diverse ethnic composition; the common religions are Buddhism, the most dominant religion, Christianity, Islam, and Taoism. While their family is a primary social institution, it has limited influence on business decisions (Chan, 2020). However, the country has a parliamentary system of governance, and there have been stable political aspects in Singapore, with PAP, the current leading political party being a socialistic party (Chua, 2019). The existence of a stable economic environment is critical for international ventures. Moreover, the country has witnessed a massive economic transformation over the years. Even though the government controls most of the companies in Singapore, there has been a corruption-free environment (Reddy & van Dam, 2020). Consequently, the country has significantly attracted investors into the country. Singapore’s reliable legal system and a transparent court founded on integrity are critical for international business ventures.
Informal trade barriers
Essentially, Singapore has been fundamental in maintaining the most liberal trading regimes with a free port economy; however, there are high levies on taxes on wine and spirits. Similarly, there is a need for a special import license for certain types of goods, such as food derived from agricultural biotechnology and other hazardous chemicals and radioactive materials (Bennett, 2018). The heavy taxes on these materials may systematically undermine the business venture into the Singaporean marketplace.
Recommendations for the new Companies Exploring Singaporean Market
In order for the new food products firm to thrive in Singapore, the organization should consider the following:
- Consider hiring employees from the country to meet the diverse language prowess of the populace. Being a multicultural society, the firm should be able to hire competent employees who can effectively interact with diverse cultural aspects. With language prowess in Malay, English, Mandarin, and Tamil.
- Use locally available raw materials to avoid heavy taxation on special import licenses on materials considered under special licensing categories (Reddy & van Dam, 2020). For instance, the firm may be considering alternative products to the foods derived from agricultural biotechnology.
- Products that align with cultural and religious values of the shared cultures and religions, such as Chinese and Buddhism, ensure that most of the population consumes the company’s products.
Global Edge CyberSite: http://globaledge.msu.edu/
World Bank doing business: https://www.doingbusiness.org/
Bennett, M. M. (2018). Singapore: The “global city” in the globalizing Arctic. Journal of Borderlands Studies, 33(2), 289-310.
Reddy, G., & van Dam, R. M. (2020). Food, culture, and identity in multicultural societies: Insights from Singapore. Appetite, p. 149, 104633.
Chan, J. S. (2020). The status of women in a patriarchal state: The case of Singapore. In Women in Asia (pp. 39–58). Routledge.
Chua, B. H. (2019). Singapore from social Democracy to communitarianism. In Handbuch Kommunitarismus (pp. 643-662). Springer VS, Wiesbaden.