No fewer than 40 per cent of Swedish companies in Singapore are forecasting decreasing turnover over the coming 12 months. The country’s close business ties with China meant that the effects of Covid-19 lockdown were felt immediately in this corner of the region as well.

At the same time, Southeast Asia’s most prosperous country has a robust economy and is well equipped for a rapid recovery phase. Our Business Climate Survey, carried out in Singapore for the third consecutive year, points to a stark contrast in sentiment among Swedish companies operating in the market.

Many survey respondents have reported a negative sales forecast, but the majority consider their business in Singapore to be profitable and remain confident about their future competitiveness. 64 per cent of respondents reported profitability in 2019 and 45 per cent have not changed their investment plans at all for next year.

Despite widespread uncertainty in the global economy, the Asia Development Bank (ADB), has projected a 4.7 per cent growth rate for Southeast Asia in 2021. Economic growth is therefore likely to continue with Singapore in the vanguard. The coronavirus crisis has dampened the investment appetite for now, but this situation is expected to be temporary.

The biggest challenge is making sure that small and medium-sized companies, particularly innovative yet vulnerable tech start-ups, can weather the storm.

This survey was carried out from 6 March to 1 May 2020 and included 74 respondents drawn from a business community of over 250 Swedish companies in Singapore. Large companies represented 41 per cent of the sample, medium-sized companies comprised 17 per cent and 42 per cent were small companies (fewer than 250 employees).

Download the report and get a full overview of the results.

ABOUT THE SURVEY

The Business Climate Survey is produced on a bi-annual basis by Team Sweden, a joint initiative where Business Sweden collaborates with Sweden’s local embassies, consulates and chambers of commerce around the world, among other stakeholders.

The survey provides first-hand perspectives and insights into business trends, issues and challenges on global markets based on extensive interviews with Swedish companies operating in each respective country.