NORWEGIAN shipowners are increasingly looking to move their business to
Singapore, according to international maritime law firm Wikborg Rein.
"Recent years have seen a growing number of Norwegian owners show an
interest in moving their business to Singapore due to the stable political
environment and strong economic links with China, India and the ASEAN
countries," says Are Zachariassen, partner at Wikborg Rein.
"Add to this a number of mechanisms which, when combined, may enable
Norwegian shipping investors in Singapore to receive tax-free profits from
shipping and it's not hard to see why Singapore has become so favourable."
Following recently proposed changes to the Norwegian tonnage tax system
this trend is expected to continue. Under the proposals, vessels involved in
the petrochemical industry will no longer qualify for the Norwegian tonnage
tax scheme. Meanwhile, in Singapore, new regulations recently introduced
mean that vessels such as drillships, jack-ups and semi-submersible units
are permitted to fly the Singapore flag for the first time.
Singapore is already home to many leading shipping companies and service
providers to the shipping industry. According to Stephen Fordham who heads
up Wikborg Rein's office in Singapore, this only serves to make it even more