Before any company based out of Singapore decides to do business overseas, it is important to do a thorough market research, by taking into consideration a variety of political, economic, socio-cultural and technological factors. The company would be in a better position to assess the success of the product or services in the overseas market.
What are the Factors to be Researched
Know the Market
Before any company ventures abroad, it should get acclimatized with the external environment and assess the impact that political, economic, socio-cultural and technological factors could have on the product.
Know the Product
It is critical to evaluate the product's suitability for the market, taking into consideration factors like product attributes, distribution and delivery, pricing and positioning and servicing.
Where Can I Find Statistics or Market Information
Online or Electronic Sources
Statistics on Singapore's imports and exports are available at International Enterprise (IE) Singapore. However there is a charge for accessing the information. The statistics can be availed upon on an annual, cumulative, quarterly or monthly basis. The data is categorized by imports, exports, re-exports and domestic exports. The statistics can be sourced either in publication, CD-ROMS, the online database Stat link or over the counter customized reports.
The latest statistics and regulations for over 40 markets abroad have been classified by IE Singapore. One can seek information country wise to find out each market's modes of business entry, trade regulations, taxation rules, visa requirements and other details.
Libraries and Resource Centers
The centre is the only library in Singapore dedicated to providing information on overseas markets. Anyone wanting to access country and industry reports, overseas business directories and Yellow pages, statistics and tariff information can be sourced from this reference-only library.
Country Specific Networks
To assist domestic companies make inroads into certain markets, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore has established several networking platforms.
These platforms help in:
- Gaining in-depth knowledge of a specific market.
- Form alliances with other companies to penetrate a market.
- Network with Government officials and key industry players in the market.
At present the Government has established 3 networks and membership for the networks are free.
Network China was launched in November 2001 as a premier networking platform for Singapore-based companies interested in setting up business, looking for business partners and investing in China. The ultimate aim of this government-private sector network is to facilitate successful trade and investment between China and Singapore.
Network India is a premier networking platform that fosters connections and business linkages between companies that have an interest in the India market. It was launched on 18 Oct 2002.It was established to cultivate a fraternity of Singapore based companies and entrepreneurs interested in business opportunities in India.
Network Indonesia was launched in Jakarta on a high note on 20 May 2003.Network Indonesia, which is the first Southeast Asian business networking platform formed by IE Singapore, was initiated to foster connections and business linkages between companies that have an interest in the Indonesia market. It also aims to cultivate a fraternity of Singapore-based companies and entrepreneurs interested in business opportunities in Indonesia, to share timely information, ideas, opinions and experiences.
Associations and Chambers
Business associations and chambers of commerce help to promote their members businesses. They also work in tandem with the Government to serve the interests of their members.
As regionalization and internationalization have become extremely relevant in today's context, many associations and chambers help their members to venture abroad by organizing trade missions and networking events.
Embassies and High Commissions
There are over 50 foreign embassies and high commissions in Singapore, which can be a good resource center for any information on trade and investment for their home country. For any business related information, the trade or investment representative at the embassy would be the ideal point of contact, while for information regarding visa requirements the consular office should be approached.