SINGAPORE, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- The Singapore government is working toward raising levels of corporate transparency through consultation and collaboration with the private sector, as well as improving corporate governance in the island-state.
"A globally oriented economy needs a robust framework for corporate governance. Singapore's standards are high, but we must continue to improve them, not only in the form of the rules, but also in the spirit of their implementation," Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Tuesday. "Our integrity premium is a previous competitive advantage which we guard zealously, and which will not be easy to replicate."
Lee announced reforms in company law to modernize the local corporate regulatory framework and improve international competitiveness. "They will ensure that our company law is market-driven, supportive of entrepreneurship and aligned with international best practices," Lee said.
According to a statement by the ministry of finance, also headed by Lee, two additional business structures, limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships, will be introduce to widen the range of business vehicle in Singapore. These partnerships will give market players more options in deciding how they want to structure their businesses.
The ministry said it will remove statutory audit requirements for "dormant companies" and "exempt private companies," as such requirements serve no public purpose and impose unnecessary costs on dormant companies.
A dormant company refers to a company with no significant accounting transactions during the financial year. Exempt private companies are companies with no corporate shareholders and not more than 20 shareholders.
The government will also start allowing one-director private companies (previously only two directors companies were allowed), and will remove the statutory requirement for private companies to appoint professionally qualified company secretaries.