Overseas Venture Consultancy

International market expansion

Grant Support
Get Started


Singapore’s economy is considered one of the most dynamic and high-income economies of the world that make it an ideal place to do business. However, that does not and should not restrict businesses from expanding to international markets especially in the South East Asian and the gulf states.

As the world continues to change rapidly, it is essential for businesses to keep up with the pace and transform themselves to seize the growing opportunities.

But international market expansion requires businesses to take several crucial steps to enter the market, deepen their foothold, and eventually make a global impact.

Small and medium enterprises that are keen to expand their business overseas, are usually faced with challenges such as lack of resources, cash and knowledge to even take on the first step. By consulting our overseas venture grant professionals, we can help you gain an international boost to help take your business international easily.

If you are eligible, you can get a grant covering up to 80% of the eligible costs, capped at $100,000 per company per new market. This amount covers overseas market promotion, overseas business development, and overseas market set-up. With this grant, you will be able to establish your business venture internationally with much needed capital and ease.

Take a look at our guide to MRA Grants in Singapore.


Should you opt for international market expansion now?

Today, many companies outside of Singapore are expanding their businesses to Singapore. This has created competition inside the country, making it a good opportunity for local businesses to diversify their operations and expand internationally. Singapore is part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), thus it offers great incentives for local businesses to access member states' markets and diversify their revenues.

The Singapore government also supports many initiatives that allow local companies to expand their business to other countries through grants and programmes such as:

  • The Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant for SMEs covers up to 50% of costs of a small and medium-sized enterprise per market capped at S$100,000. These costs cover overseas market promotion, overseas business development, and overseas market set-up.
  • A joint initiative of the Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) is the Grow Digital Through this program, SMEs can take advantage of the already established and profitable B2B and B2C e-commerce platforms and access the international market. This programme allows Singapore companies to gain access to an international consumer base through the digital platforms without showing any physical presence.
  • The Singapore Government also offers initiatives to local businesses to deploy a remote workforce to access new markets and enter their business into a global marketplace.
  • The Go Digital initiative by the Singapore Government allows local businesses to adopt advanced digital solutions to grasp lucrative opportunities in today’s digital economy. This initiative offers a wide array of digital solutions in the CTO-as-a-Service Programmes, Industry Digital Plans, Start Digital Programmes, Pre-Approved Solutions, InvoiceNow, and Advanced Digital Solutions.

The strategic location of Singapore also plays a significant role for local businesses to expand beyond its borders. Singapore enjoys several trade agreements and preferential tariffs with many countries worldwide, fueling the expansion of local companies to international markets.

CZ also offered immigration services should you need to migrate your employees overseas for work.

Benefits of international market expansion

venture overseas


Although Singapore’s economy offers great incentives to local businesses to increase their revenues and profits, the rise in domestic competition has led businesses to partner with global companies and access the global market.

Expanding your business internationally from Singapore can have several benefits.

  • Diversifying your business operations in other countries enables you to access new markets and increase your customer base. This directly translates to greater revenues and profits. Moreover, international market expansion enables you to attract top talent and build a strong and resourceful team.
  • When you diversify your operations, your business becomes more stable as you leverage global resources and fulfill customer orders by leveraging expert supply chain and logistics services.
  • By accessing the global market, you are able to create brand awareness and have the opportunity to make your brand stand up among the competitors.
  • Overseas business expansion can allow you to improve your employees’ skill set by utilizing the government’s SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC). The SFEC covers up to 90% of costs of enterprise transformation capped at S$100,000.
  • By utilizing the trade agreements Singapore has with other nations of the world and the reduced costs of raw materials and labor in some countries, you can cut down your costs of doing business and increase your revenues.

Talk to our market expansion professionals today.

Which countries are a good option to expand your business internationally from Singapore?

Before finalizing your decision of expand into international markets, you must analyze the best locations to which you can expand. ASEAN member states are a good option because of the convenient, strategic access they offer to Singapore. Apart from those, there are other countries also that show good potential for local businesses to expand to.


Malaysia is Singapore’s second-largest trading partner and offers a large consumer base for local companies to venture into. Being a member of the ASEAN states makes Malaysia a free trade area for Singapore investors. The industries that are flourishing and show great potential for international expansion include retail, education, food, digital economy, e-commerce, and manufacturing.


China, being the largest populated country of the world, provides the largest consumer market for businesses to expand into. China is a significant trade partner of Singapore. Companies in Singapore enjoy a free tariff on almost 95% of exports through the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement. There is a lot of potential in sectors of agriculture, construction, manufacturing, and services for Singapore companies in China.

Check out our specialised China Market Entry Consultancy.


The Republic of Korea is another trade partner of Singapore that offers great opportunities for local investors. Through the Korea – Singapore Free Trade Agreement (KSFTA), Singapore businesses enjoy 91.6% tariff reduction on its exports to Korea. The sectors of electronics, automobiles, steel, and manufactured goods are good options for Singapore businesses to tap into.


Thailand is one of the ASEAN member states and is the second-largest economy of Southeast Asia. Thailand offers great opportunities for Singapore investors due to its central location that provides direct access to neighboring markets of Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Moreover, the free trade agreement between both the countries allows companies to enjoy eliminated tariffs and avoid double taxes. By expanding to Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor and defined special economic zones, local companies can enjoy preferential tax rates. Sectors that show potential for expansion include the manufacturing industry, health care, and technology industry.


Japan is also one of the top trading partners of Singapore besides China. Singapore and Japan enjoy free trade through the free trade agreement: Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).another trade agreement between both countries, The Japan-Singapore Economic Partnership Agreement (JSEPA), allows local businesses to access the Japanese market through free tariff on exports. Local companies can tap the Japanese market in sectors of technology and innovation, infrastructure development, renewable energy, and tourism and hospitality.


Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s largest economy that offers great market access for Singapore investors. Both the countries share a close social and economic relationship that businesses can leverage. The free trade agreement between both countries being part of the ASEAN states, the Double Tax Avoidance Agreement, and the Global Innovation Alliance Plug and Play initiative all provide a conducive environment for new investors to expand their operations. The industries that are currently flourishing include the technology sector, digital economy, manufacturing, urban solutions, and infrastructure sectors.


The gulf nations are another rich investment opportunity for Singapore companies in sectors of iron, machinery, jewelry, petrochemicals, and steel. The GCC-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (GSFTA) allows local companies to avail tariff-free concessions for up to 99% of their exports.

What is a good international market expansion strategy?

Once you have decided that you want to expand into the international markets and have identified the country where you wish to expand to, then comes the step of devising a good international market expansion strategy so that your transition is as smooth and seamless as possible.

  • Thoroughly research the market. Thoroughly researching the market is prudent before you venture your business overseas. Understand the market requirements, demographics, and current competition. Then check whether these requirements align with your company’s mission so they can become profitable.
  • Understand the culture and people. Each country has its own culture and the consumers have specific choices and buying habits. Having a thorough understanding of the culture can help businesses settle better in a foreign country.
  • Identify the government initiatives and trade agreements that can help you. As discussed earlier, the Singapore Government offers great initiatives and has trade agreements with several countries of the world. Identify the agreements and initiatives that can benefit you to grow globally.
  • Understand all the pertaining legal requirements. Each country has its own employment, company incorporation, and tax laws. Having prior understanding of these legal requirements can help you navigate through the tough and sometimes overwhelming legal processes before you can start your business operations overseas.
venture overseas1

Speak to a Overseas Expansion Consultant In Singapore

The process of expanding your business to the global market can be a challenging feat that requires thorough research and immaculate planning to ensure seamless expansion and growth. CZ Consultancy is an expert in providing advice and support to Singapore companies who want to expand to international markets. Whether you want to expand your business to any of the countries listed above or to any other country of your choice, you can rest assured that we will help you expand to that country. Consult us today to find out how we can assist you in your global expansion.

While expanding overseas, you may also need help with other services. As a consultancy, we also provide additional services, such as consultation for business, accounting and bookkeeping, and corporate secretarial services. You might also be interested in our guide to Salary Support Grants.

Grant Support

Grant covering up to 50% of the eligible costs, capped at $100,000 per company per new market. Talk to us today for professional grant consultancy services.

Overseas Market Promotion
Overseas Business Development
Overseas Market Set-up


  • Business entity is registered/incorporated in Singapore

  • New market entry criteria, i.e. target overseas country whereby the applicant has not exceeded S$100,000 in overseas sales in each of the last three preceding years

  • At least 30% local shareholding

  • Group Annual Sales Turnover of not more than S$100 million; OR Company’s Group Employment Size of not more than 200 employees


salary support

Salary Support Grants in Singapore 2023 – Things You Need To Know Before Applying

mra grant

MRA Grants in Singapore – What Are They & How Can They Benefit My Business?