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Top Of The Game

The strength of Singapore’s financial sector has enabled the country to consistently rank fourth on the Global Financial Centres Index – behind New York, London and Hong Kong. In this article in The Business Times, Achieve CEO Joshua Yim comments on Singapore’s competitiveness as a financial centre and his suggestions on how Singapore could pip its rivals for the global top spot:

“From a macroeconomic perspective, the fastest growing area in the world is currently the Asia-Pacific and it is predicted to surpass that of the US and EU in the next five to 10 years. Against this backdrop, Singapore is strategically poised to capitalise on the economic growth and rising affluence in the region. Singapore should position itself as the Switzerland of the East, just as how Switzerland grew tremendously after World War II and became a financial hub for Europe.

There are a few cities vying to be a top financial hub in Asia, with Singapore and Hong Kong traditionally at the top. To supersede them as the financial centre of Asia, Singapore needs to have the right regulatory framework and infrastructure in place. Our strength has always been in the transparency of our financial system and we should continue to uphold this reputation.

The Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges have struck an alliance lately, and Singapore should perhaps strike an alliance with one of the bigger stock exchanges in the Asia-Pacific, such as Tokyo. This is one suggestion that would bring a big influx of money into our economy and propel Singapore up a few notches. Of course, it will have to be very strategically executed, and a lot of mechanics and details will have to be worked out.

Next, we should look at tweaking our talent migration policy. A lot of financial talents from the US and European countries that are not experiencing much growth will want to move to Asia where the strongest growth prospects are, and Singapore is a very attractive option for them due to our cosmopolitan culture. So our regulators may want to take another look at our migration policies if Singapore wants to strengthen its position as a financial centre.”

Source : The Business Times, 23 June 2014