Singapore City, Sustainable Trade Index

SINGAPORE: In Knight Frank’s new series, The Rise of the Super Wealth Hub, Singapore is said to be “at the centre of the rising tide of wealth” in the Asia Pacific region. The Little Red Dot has emerged as the leading wealth capital in the region, says one of the world’s leading real estate consultancies.

The firm defines wealth hubs as follows: A financial centre distinguished by a robust legal framework, political and economic stability, elevated living standards, abundant talent pool, and resolute allure for the affluent. It promises economic opportunities for career growth, an exceptional residential environment, and a dynamic range of leisure pursuits.

Ms Christine Li, the head of research at Knight Frank Asia-Pacific, explained that the report uses six comprehensive indicators designed to measure the live work and play aspects of the super wealth hubs: governance, talent, urban prosperity, opulence, lifestyle and legal framework.

According to the indicators, cities were given grades between 0 and 1, with 1 being the highest score. Singapore obtained the highest overall score in the Asia Pacific, 0.79. Ms Li highlighted that the country’s foreign direct investment (FDI) rose by 47 per cent compared to 2019.

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The report also noted that Dubai has emerged as a wealth capital in the Middle East, and four other regional wealth hubs—Sydney, Hong Kong, and Shanghai – were found to “share similar live-work-play traits with Singapore and Dubai.”

Knight Frank said that Singapore successfully navigated the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that it is known for its stability even in times of global uncertainty.

“Singapore is unique in its offerings as a global wealth management and financial hub anchored in political stability, low corruption rates and transparent public institutions. The country’s pro-business government also makes it a favoured base for businesses and investors seeking to capture the huge growth potential in Asia. With concerted planning and the development of modern infrastructure, the government has conceived the cosmopolitan city-state as an attractive, vibrant and distinctive place to live, work and play.”

Here’s how Singapore scored for several metrics: for effective governance, Singapore got .99, the same score it received for ease of doing business and real estate investment. When it comes to financial market competitiveness, Singapore got a .98. All these falls under the “Work” metric.

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As for the “live” elements, Singapore got a .95 for personal security but a 0.0 for the cost of living, which should be no surprise for a city that routinely makes it to the top of “box expensive” lists.

The Knight Frank report also noted that tourism is back. “Singapore is not short on luxury accommodation with an estimated 46 5-star hotels in a small country, 51 Michelin-star restaurants and a proliferation of more than 200 shopping malls island-wide. Together, these draw in tourist arrivals that hit a record high of 19.1 million in 2019, before the pandemic. In the eight months of 2023 to date, the 9.0 million international arrivals recorded have exceeded the full total of 6.3 million in 2022, when border controls were first relaxed after the imposition of pandemic restrictions.” /TISG

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