Singapore "whitelisted" by OECD

In mid-November 2009, OECD put Singapore on their "white list", indicating that the country meet the standard for transparency and exchange of information. The same year, Norway and Singapore announced a tax treaty.

Singapore featured earlier in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)'s "gray list" of countries that do not meet the standard for transparency and exchange of information. Singapore authorities however quickly initiated efforts to negotiate new or updated agreements with a total of 20 jurisdictions, and reached the goal of advancing to the OECD's "white list" in mid-November 2009.

Singapore authorities requested in May 2009 for negotiations on the amendment of Article 27 on exchange of information in the tax treaty between Norway and Singapore and a general revision of the tax treaty. In September 2009 Norway and Singapore signed a protocol to the treaty that update the article 27 of the standard applicable under the OECD Model Convention Article 26.



State-driven CSR agenda
The Norwegian Embassy in Singapore, Innovation Norway’s office (which also has regional responsibility) and the Norwegian Business Association Singapore (NBAS) are all putting CSR high on the agenda and work closely on the issue.

Active use of CSR in Singapore companies is generally lower than in Norway and other European countries. The use of CSR in Singapore is largely based on voluntary efforts, and the authorities have so far refrained from introducing special legislation for corporate social responsibility. On the other hand, the state still plays an important role as initiator of the CSR agenda.

A tripartite cooperation between government, private sector and trade unions, the National Committee on CSR was established in 2004 with the aim of promoting CSR in Singapore.  A year later, the Singapore Compact for Corporate Social Responsibility, on the initiative of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) was launched as a forum for cooperation, support, strategic guidance, information sharing and coordination of CSR programs. 

Singapore Compact’s definition of CSR is without any significant differences from the Norwegian definition.



Human Rights
Singapore stands out in most contexts as a modern country with a well-developed rule of law and respect for fundamental human rights, including protection of private property rights. The courts are in accordance with the Constitution, independent, and have high reputation in terms of expertise.  The country's legal system is considered to be among Asia's most efficient.  However Singapore does not fare that well in international NGOs ratings for freedom of expression, press freedom and political freedom. Singapore has shown that political stability, strict legislation and the absence of conflicts have given financial results by drawing foreign investments to the country.



Working Conditions
Singapore has ratified five of the eight core ILO conventions. Convention No. 87, 106 and 111 have not been ratified. Convention no. 87, concerning Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise is not ratified. Organizational law is still largely accepted and workers in the private sector have the right to organize and to establish trade unions. This does not apply to workers in the public sector, although in practice there are exceptions to this prohibition.

Secondly, Convention No. 105 concerning the Abolition of Forced Labour was not ratified, still forced labour is prohibited by law and generally do not occur. Lastly, Convention No. 111 on discrimination in employment and occupation is not ratified, however, discrimination in employment is prohibited by Singaporian law.



Environment and Sustainable Development
Singapore aims to be a leader in promoting new ideas, innovation and technology in sustainable development.  The government also plans to make Singapore into a research and development hub for renewable energy and water technology by develop cooperation with other countries and private sector.

Innovation in these sectors are considered as potential solutions to the challenges of Singapore's very limited natural resources and are aiming to reduce the environmental footprint.



Corruption
Singapore is constantly ranked as one of the world's least corrupt countries.  Statutory Authority responsible for combating corruption in public and private sectors, Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) was founded in 1952, and is directly under the Prime Minister's Office. The country's anti-corruption legislation is strict.

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Singapore er et handelsknutepunkt, finanssentrum og driver for høyteknologisk utvikling innenfor maritim sektor, fornybar energi og smarte byer og samfunn. Singapore er som følge av politisk stabilitet, engelsk forretningsspråk, minimal korrupsjonsfare og et trygt samfunnsliv det enkle og ideelle utgangspunkt for å nå de store vekstmarkedene i Asia. Universitetene og forskningsinstitusjonene er av de høyest rankede i verden. Økosystemet rundt entreprenørskap og kommersialisering av nye ideer er innovativt, velutviklet og ressurssterkt.