Stipenda World Employment Index Finds Singapore Is Top Destination For U.S. Employers

Knowing that they’re going to be paid in full and on time every week or month can quickly help employees settle into their new working lives overseas. Just as you offer an efficient, on-time payroll service for domestic employees, so you can now extend this service overseas. And it will be in full accord with local requirements for tax and insurance too.

Singapore performs strongly across most categories, due in particular to its low taxation regime, the quality of its transport and communications infrastructure, and its economic and social infrastructure. It is also one of a handful of countries that has a free trade agreement with the United States. Hong Kong ranks second followed by Switzerland, with Canada – the U.S.’s largest trading partner – coming fourth.

Stipenda launched in April this year to help PEOs – organizations that provide businesses with support around activities like payroll and compensation– offer international solutions to their clients.

Stipenda has already seen strong demand from PEOs looking for support with relatively young companies with an international focus. This is being driven by rapid economic growth in markets overseas; increased domestic over-­crowding in certain key start-­up sectors; awareness of the risk of imitators overseas capturing market share, and improved support for small businesses looking to expand internationally.

Solomon Williams, CEO, Stipenda, said: “A company can live or die by its employees and they should be a major consideration for businesses that are looking to expand overseas.

“People often don’t look beyond the cost of labor, but there are many more areas that need to be considered. Industrial relations and the definition of employee and employer rights for example, are areas that can end up having a dramatic impact on business performance. We have put this index together based on our 20-­year experience of providing international employment solutions for companies in markets across Europe and Africa.

“For firms looking to gain a foothold in South-­East Asia, there are two territories – Singapore and Hong Kong – that stand out as places to consider from an employment perspective.”

1 Elements of the index include: political, social and economic stability; tax and regulatory regime; legal system; innovation; infrastructure; workforce; currency stability and corruption levels. The index looked at the U.S.’s top 50 trading partners in 2012 excluding Angola and Iraq.

Venezuela is the lowest ranked country on the list, ranking poorly across most categories. It does however score highly for the level of education of its workforce. A full list of the rankings is available at­us‐part-­your-­business.

The Stipenda World Employment Index Top 10: the foreign countries with the most favorable conditions for U.S. businesses to employ staff.


Stipenda took the U.S.’s top 50 trading partners and looked at 14 metrics across eight categories (listed below). The categories reflect issues that either directly or indirectly impact businesses looking to hire talent in overseas territories. The metrics employed in each category are based on measurable and comparable data for as many of the 50 countries as possible. Of the 50 countries, Angola and Iraq were excluded due to a lack of available data, so a total of 48 have been included in the final rankings.

Sources for the metrics include the World Economic Forum, the International Labour Organisation and Maplecroft’s Political Risk Atlas. In each instance, the most up-­to-­date data was used.

A country that performs strongest in each category is given a score of 48 down to the lowest ranked country, which receives a score of 1. The scores across all categories are totaled and averaged. The final rankings are based on the highest average scores across all categories.

Not all countries have a metric for each category. Where this is the case, they have been excluded from that category, posting no score rather than receiving a score of zero. This means the average scores for these countries are based on a fewer number of metrics rather than being negatively affected.


Launched in 2013, Stipenda offers a global solution for professional employer organizations (PEOs). Through its international operations it has over a decade of experience in providing international employment solutions. Its services include payroll, tax management, immigration, benefit management and HR. Stipenda offers seamlessly integrated solutions for PEOs looking to support clients across Europe, Asia, Africa and Australasia. Stipenda is headquartered in Boston. For more information, please visit

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