Top 6 Successful Business Ideas for Foreigners in Singapore

Top 6 Successful Business Ideas for Foreigners in Singapore

Starting a business in Singapore is not that easy, but there are certain business ideas that are easier to achieve than others.


You might have hit on a great business idea, or decided it was time to follow your heart. If you are a foreign entrepreneur who want to start your own business in Singapore below is the guide for various industries on what it takes to start a business in Singapore. Let's get started and find the best solution for you. 

Idea 1: ICT

If you mention Singapore and ICT, you will hear people talk about Singapore's Smart Nation - the country's effort to use tech-enabled solutions to mould a better future. 

Proving Singapore's push, the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) has recently introduced a number of ICT tenders that have a projected value of $2.4 billion in fields including data analytics and digital citizen systems.

All foreigners who are looking for business opportunities in Singapore can look into areas such as mobility, cyber security, and IT services. Singapore's strong IT talent pool and cyber laws make establishing an ICT-related business much easier.


Idea 2: Biotechnology


Contributing to 5% of Singapore's GDP, the biomedical sciences industry is an important pillar of the economy. As a testament to this industry's importance, in 2016, the government was committed to injecting $19 billion into the national plan -0 Research, Innovation, and Enterprise 2020 (RIE 2020).

This plan has four main areas, including health and biomedical sciences. In addition, with the rising demand for healthcare and Asia's ageing population, there are opportunities for biotech and medtech companies to enter Singapore and the wider Asian market. Businesses can enjoy the country's leading infrastructure and IP protection.


Idea 3: Fintech


As a leading financial hub in Asia, Singapore is home to 200 banks, with total assets that amount to more than $2 trillion. It is geared to position itself as a fintech center. This is made easy by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. They just make simpler laws surrounding financial technologies; namely, merging and simplifying the law pertaining to money exchange, remittance, and payment systems. Foreign companies can share their know-how in areas related to money transfer, lending, online wealth management, blockchain, and crowd-funding.


Idea 4: Sustainability & Clean Energy


In line with its reputation as a Garden City, the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint aims to keep the country clean and green, covering green spaces, resource sustainability, air quality, and drainage. For foreign businesses, this is an opportunity to provide their services in smart cities, with smart mobility and waste water management, green buildings, and green shipping.

This also means jobs for companies that work on sustainability reporting. Foreign companies looking into offering their expertise in sustainable energy management in the areas of power generation, transmission, distribution, and consumption will also find Singapore a good market to enter, compared to the rest of Asia.


Idea 5: Media


Singapore boasts a thriving media sector, contributing $33.1 billion in revenue to the economy (2013). The media sector encompasses TV broadcasting and production, animation, gaming, publishing, film and music, along with interactive and digital media.

The gaming sector is looking particularly promising, with an estimated total revenue reaching $93 billion in 2019 (PWC Global Entertainment and Media Outlook report). Singapore is also an ideal place to set-up your media related business, especially for those who are in the content creation niche, as Singapore has robust Intellectual Property protection. Foreign companies setting up will find Singapore a good cultural melting pot of residents with global mindsets. Access to large markets of the region is within reach.


Idea 6: Retail & Lifestyle

With an affluent middle class, Singapore consumers are always on the look-out for the latest products and services in retail and lifestyle. This varies from art and collectibles, to fashion and homeware. Singapore has selected shopping malls and areas for specific types of customers, making it easy for you to reach your target customers.

This consumption power is set to continue. Singaporeans’ earning power is ever increasing, and it’s with a preference to foreign brands over local ones. However, it is to be noted that rental prices in Singapore are notoriously high.

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