As Channel News Asia reports, the Republic is Asia Pacific's second-most popular destination, with 11.81 million international visitors in 2015, according to a MasterCard index.
Bangkok clinched the top spot with 21.9 million visitors and Tokyo narrowly came in third behind Singapore with 11.76 million visitors.
The annual Asia Pacific Destinations Index ranks 167 destinations from 22 countries in the region - including island resorts as well as towns and cities - by their total number of international overnight arrivals, cross-border spending and the total number of nights spent at each destination, MasterCard said in a news release on Wednesday (Jan 27).
The study showed that the highest number of tourists coming to Singapore were from Indonesia (16.1 per cent), China (13.9 per cent) and India (7.3 per cent).
As TODAY reports, Singapore retained its status for a 10th consecutive year as the easiest country in which to do business, while emerging markets such as China and India moved up the rankings, according to the World Bank.
The World Bank’s annual Doing Business report ranks 189 countries based on 11 indicators such as the ease of starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity and obtaining credit.
The 30 best performers stand out because they have rules that allow “efficient and transparent functioning of businesses and markets”, not because they have little regulation, the Washington-based development lender said in the latest report.
Contributing to Singapore’s high scores was its “high-quality judicial processes”.
“Resolving a commercial dispute through the Singapore District Court takes just 150 days, the shortest time recorded worldwide, and costs 25.8 per cent of the value of the claim.
Efficient dispute resolution is paired with good institutions (such as specialised courts), effective case management and sophisticated court automation tools,” the report said.
As Ecns reports, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Singapore completed its first clearing of 35 million yuan via the Cross-border Interbank Payment System (CIPS) on Thursday as a major step to internationalize its currency.
The transaction, which was a trade settlement payment from Singapore's Raffemet Pte Ltd to Baosteel Resources in Shanghai, marked the first in Asia to be cleared through the newly-launched system.
The CIPS system was developed and administered by China's central bank. It enables market participants outside China to clear yuan transactions with their Chinese counterparts directly from during any working day under a coding format in line with international practice.
The CIPS will process a broad range of cross-border RMB transactions, including settlement of RMB trade and capital projects, as well as settlement of remittance transactions, ICBC Singapore said.
"The launch of CIPS represents a turning point in the internationalisation of the yuan. As the yuan continues to rise as a popular choice among world payment currencies, CIPS will accelerate global use of the currency, with the extended operational hours and greater efficiency," said Zhang Weiwu, General Manager of ICBC Singapore.
As the South China Morning Post reports, Hong Kong is the best place in the world for expats to advance their careers, but it ranks behind Singapore and Taiwan as a place to live and work, according to a survey.
The poll, conducted by the research firm YouGov and commissioned by HSBC, sought views from more than 21,000 expatriates from 198 countries over three months earlier this year. They were asked how they felt about the country or territory they were working in.
Hong Kong emerged as a great career choice, with more than two-thirds of expats questioned declaring that “Hong Kong is a good place for career progression”. The average salary of Hong Kong expats questioned was more than US$176,000 per year, about US$70,000 above the global average.
Yet other factors, such as quality of life and ease of raising a family, held the city back. Overall it finished 11th, ranking behind Singapore in first place and Taiwan in eighth.
Singapore beat Hong Kong in all three main categories: economics, experience and family. Some 80 per cent of expats in the Lion City reported feeling confident about its economy, while 60 per cent said their children were healthier.
Mainland China, meanwhile, ranked 27th in the survey,- putting it behind Saudi Arabia and Vietnam. New Zealand and Sweden took second and third places respectively, with Bahrain and Germany rounding out the top five.
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