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Singapore ‘will lose its attractiveness’ to foreign firms if rising costs continue

Half of expatriates in Singapore have been hit by rent increases of more than 40 per cent, while about seven in 10 businesses are ready to relocate their staff out of the city state if there is no relief from rising operating costs, a survey has found.

Conducted by the European Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (EuroCham), the survey aimed to assess the extent and severity of the impact of rising costs on business operations in the country.

The report on the survey, released on Monday, warned that the situation is “not sustainable”.

If business costs do not fall or the government doesn’t step in to help, then “Singapore will lose its attractiveness to foreign companies which will decide to relocate their offices to neighbouring countries”, the report said.

The survey was done in collaboration with 14 European national business groups, the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce, the British Chamber of Commerce in Singapore and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore.

In all, 268 local and international businesses operating in Singapore, which are members of these chambers of commerce, responded to the survey.

“This is the first time in the past 10 years where companies have expressed a readiness to leave Singapore should rental prices increase,” said EuroCham president Federico Donato in response to queries.

A report this week showed how some expatriates are intending to leave Singapore amid the skyrocketing rental prices – which rose at the fastest pace in 15 years last year, outpacing some other major cities.


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