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Singapore still the focus for Norwegian maritime companies

Singapore still the focus for Norwegian maritime companies

Singapore: The vast majority of Norwegian owned companies located in Singapore expect to see their businesses expand in the next 12 months. A survey of 60 Norwegian companies also revealed that Norway's business presence in Singapore remains very focused towards the shipping/logistics and the marine/offshore sectors. Some 59% of responding companies classify themselves as working in these two sectors, underscoring the already large and growing influence of Norwegian companies on Singapore's maritime sector. The results of the survey conducted by the Norwegian Business Association in Singapore (NBAS) were released at their bi-annual conference today.

One of the major concerns which emerged from the survey responses was about spiralling business and manpower costs in the Republic. Some 25% of respondents said office rentals were their main concern while wage bills was the key concern of 21%. A further 21% said the recent steep rises in living cost was their biggest concern and 9% said their main concern for their Singapore location was the "increasing attractiveness of other locations" in the region.

Responding to these concerns Ko Kheng Hwa, Singapore Economic Development Board md said rising costs were partly due to demand outstripping supply. He said the Singapore government on its part was trying to help by increasing supply , for instance, of land for commercial use.

There are more than 150 Norwegian business entities in Singapore, comprising firms which have opened offices or relocated to Singapore, making Norwegian owned companies one of the fastest growing classes of overseas business investors in the Republic. Norway is currently the sixth largest foreign investor in Singapore. Their main reasons for being in Singapore, as reflected in the survey findings, are Singapore's legal infrastructure, strategic location and expanding activities in light of the booming shipping markets. Others mentioned Singapore as a leading oil trading centre, good communications, the good quality of life for overseas managers and the "good business environment and secure systems".

NBAS President said Erik Borgen said "the presence of Norwegian businesses in Singapore has never been stronger. With the regional economies continuing to surge ahead, more Norwegian companies are coming to Singapore each month with the aim of building their businesses in the region. Norway's traditional strengths in the shipping, maritime, offshore and oil and gas industries are particularly prominent here at the moment."  [25/10/07]

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