One word for one world
One word for one world

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Our translation agency has tips for doing business successfully in Singapore.

Doing business in Singapore

Thorough preparation is important when doing business abroad. That doesn’t just mean arranging the right permits and setting up a production line, but also finding out about the dominant business culture. The further you are away from home, the more different the culture. In order to help you get started, the experts in our translation agency have compiled a few tips for doing business in Singapore.

Business culture

A large number of multinationals have offices in Singapore and a lot of expats work in the country. It is highly likely that you will mainly have to deal with these people at business meetings. It is, however, normal, to observe Singaporean business etiquette. Dress is formal, although men often don’t wear a jacket. A long-sleeved shirt and tie are worn, however.

Getting to know each other

One of the first things you are likely to be asked at a business meeting is what you think of Singapore. It will be appreciated if you know something about Singapore and if you have already visited a few places of interest before your business meeting. It is then polite to ask about the other person’s life but you should avoid the subject of family unless the other person brings it up themselves.
Make sure that you have enough business cards. Exchanging cards is very important in Singapore. Present and receive cards with both hands. Study the card you receive thoroughly and demonstrably put it away carefully.


Gifts are extremely important if you want to build a business relationship in Singapore. People like to give and receive them. They not only represent friendship for people in Singapore, they also express the hope of a successful collaboration in the future. A gift is very important therefore. Be aware, however, that its symbolic value is much more important than its financial value. Typically British gifts are always appreciated, which is something to bear in mind. Pay attention to the colour as well: white, black, and dark blue are not appreciated while gold and red are very popular.

The language

Singapore has as many as four official languages: Malay, English, Tamil, and Mandarin. In practice, the most frequently used languages are Mandarin and English. The government encourages the use of English for official purposes. Thankfully this makes things much easier for foreign investors in Singapore.
In some cases, you may need a sworn translation out of, or into, English for undertakings in Singapore. Our translation agency can help you with that. You are also at the right place for translations into, and out of, Mandarin or Malay. We work with professional translators who are native speakers of the target language. We also select the right specialist for every project, whether it is commercial, technical, or legal.

Loubna Bekkaoui
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