Flock To Singapore

Investors, Executives, Rainmakers Flock To Singapore

SINGAPORE – C-level leaders, dealmakers, and fund managers are poised to make a beeline to the city-state to attend a series of high-profile events this month, as Singapore showcases its credentials as a global financial hub, reported Reuters on Friday (16 September, SGT).

Businesses in Singapore are thriving again, with restaurants packed, conference venues booked for weeks, and hotel room rates are at a 10-year high.

“Singapore has come roaring back,” commented Curtis Chin, an Asia Fellow at the Milken Institute and a former US ambassador to the Asian Development Bank.

“We have had a funny two years being locked down and isolated from our peers, so the in-person conferences feel like a small step back to normality and a big step back into humanity,” said Rachel Lau, Managing Partner at RHL Ventures, an investment company headquartered in Southeast Asia.

The first of these events starting today (19 September) is SuperReturn Asia, a yearly conference for the private equity and venture capital sector that is being held in the city-state for the first time instead of Hong Kong as usual.

About 1,000 executives from more than 40 nations are expected to attend the 4-day conference, which is a record number for the event and up from just 800 in 2019. Guests are paying up to US$4,600 to attend.

Other conferences to be held here this month include the Forbes Global CEO conference, the Milken Institute Asia Summit run by American billionaire Michael Milken’s think tank, and Token2049, a crypto event that will also take place in Singapore for the first time.

The conferences will be attended by top leaders from investment behemoths like PIMCO, Carlyle Group, and Franklin Templeton.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s harsh quarantine rules and COVID-related measures have severely impacted its economy and tarnished its reputation as a global financial hub. It is one of the few places in the globe that still compels income travellers to quarantine.

These curbs have only resulted in an exodus of finance and business talent over the past few years, as Beijing tightened its grip over the Chinese territory, all of which has worked in favour of Singapore.

“With Hong Kong increasingly linked to mainland China both economically and policy-wise, Singapore is able to further differentiate itself as a controller of its own destiny and as a hub for major international events,” added Chin.

In fact, affluent families including those from China and super-wealthy individuals have established hundreds of family offices in Singapore in a bid to take advantage of the city-state’s generous tax perks and stable political system.

The Singapore government has also just introduced new work visa rules to lure executives earning at least S$30,000 (US$21,300) per month, hoping to attract multinational rainmakers.

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