According to greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets, Singapore is the world’s leading city for headquarters, ahead of London, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, which make up the top five global cities. Data from fDi Markets shows that Singapore has attracted 317 FDI headquarter projects between January 2003 and June 2013, with figures peaking in 2008 when the city-state attracted 40 projects.

Singapore's high-quality infrastructure, efficient administration, low taxes, as well as its busy shipping port and airport, have made it an important hub for many international companies. The leading sector for establishing headquarters in Singapore is software and IT, with 85 companies establishing headquarters in the city-state.


Some of the world’s largest software firms have set up headquarters in Singapore in recent years. Electronic Arts, which develops and publishes game software content, moved its Asia-Pacific headquarters from Hong Kong to Singapore in 2008, along with 150 jobs. Online payments company PayPal added more than 100 new jobs at its international headquarters in Singapore in 2010, as further evidence of the city’s appeal to major software companies. 

Industrial machinery equipment and tools, and business services were the second and third most popular sectors, respectively, for setting up headquarters in Singapore. In terms of source countries, US-based companies accounted for the largest proportion of headquarter projects in Singapore, with 188 such projects recorded. Germany and the UK were second and third with 31 and 28 projects, respectively.