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US companies confident about ASEAN’s prospects

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Singapore remains an attractive place of business for US companies, despite the challenges posed by higher property and labour costs.

“Singapore remains one of the most attractive countries in ASEAN to do business, with low levels of corruption, excellent infrastructure, and predictable laws and regulations,” Simon Kahn, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AmCham) said.

A report by AmCham found 79% of 475 senior executives of US firms operating in the region believe their companies’ trade and investment in the ASEAN region has gone up over the past two years, with 91% expecting it to continue rising in the next half a decade.

The Straits Times reported 57% of those polled predict their Singaporean workforce to increase this year, and about two thirds believe their profits will rise, while 85% anticipate the growth to take place next year.

Singapore and Brunei were also the only two countries where respondents were satisfied with the low levels of corruption.

However, the report highlighted other challenges in Singapore faced by respondents, including high housing cost (71%), high office lease (54%), and a lack of low-cost labour (48%).



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