Top tips

General business tips

In some ways, Singapore is more conservative than the UK - good manners and more formal forms of address are essential to creating the right impression.

When making initial contact with a business, try to aim high in the company structure or you may be passed  to a junior. If you start lower down the company, it can be harder to gain access to the senior decision makers you need to reach.

Business cards should always be exchanged at the start of meetings. Present the card with both hands and take the trouble to look at the card you are handed before putting it in your pocket. Ideally, put the cards on the table in front of you so they can be viewed throughout the meeting. 

Avoid planning business visits during Chinese New Year.

The dress code for most meetings is traditional European business wear, although this tends to be relaxed due to the heat so a jacket is not always required.

Singaporeans are generally well dressed and take pride in their appearance and it is best to reciprocate.

Singapore is a mature market with many innovative companies  so it is essential to show how you differ from your competitors and what advantage you offer.

Singapore is also an excellent test bed for the wider Asia Pacific region, the growth market of the future.

10 Tips for UK company products

1. Asians love their brands! So branding is very important - Lifestyle branding is ideal.

Appearance & approval from peers is essencial for Asians. It is vital to understand your market and how your product can appeal to customers.

2. Singapore is a modern city state.

Make sure that your product appeals to the modern & busy lifestyles of Singaporean consumers. If you are able to show your consumer how your product can fit into their modern busy lifestyles, even better!

3. Take note of the climate and weather conditions.

Singapore's weather is humid, stormy and sunny all at once. It can be freezing cold as well!

4. Unique and innovative products are sought after.

Singaporeans seek to be unique and can afford to be!

5. Keep in mind that the purchasing power of an avarage Asian consumer is lower than that in Europe.

6. Singaporeans are tech savvy and have high internet presentation so make sure you have brand presence online!

7. Show your consumers how your product can be usedas part of their lifestyle.

8. 'Made in Britain'marque is great for luxury product branding.

British workmanship is appreciated and recognized in Singapore. With an increase concern of products made in China, the marque assures quality and value for consumers.

9. Create value packages.

There is nothing that Singaporeans love more than good package deals and discounts. Come up with unique packages for each occasion - birthdays, anniversaries etc.

10. Affluent consumers across Asia Pacific have impressive spending power in good and bad times (Synovate, 2010 Pax Survey).

Singapore is home to nomadic wealthy clientele. Moreover, Singapore has a high concentration of high-net-worth individuals. In addition, the economic integration of ASEAN, ASEAN Economic Community 2015, is upcoming and we will be seeing a reduction in trade barriers.

Other tips

The public transport system is among the best in the world with the air conditioned Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) system and an extensive network of buses.

Taxis are reasonably priced. Very few visitors rent cars. The Singapore Tourism Board website and the public transport web page provide further information to help plan your trip.

Singapore has strict laws against littering, which is subject to fines of between S$1,000 to S$2,000 and a stint of corrective work, cleaning in a public place, for repeat offenders.

The import, sale and possession of chewing gum is prohibited in Singapore.


British Embassy
Jennifer Hainsworth
138 Cecil Street
#13-03 Cecil Court
Singapore 069538
Tel: +65 6222 3552

British High Comission Singapore
100 Tanglin Road
Singapore 247919
Tel: +65 6424 4200
Tel (visa): +65 65 6692 9873
Tel: +65 6222 3552

UKTI Singapore
Tel: +65 6424 4200