Fintech is a rapidly growing sector, and one in which many locations are trying to attract start-up and established business. While traditional financial centres such as London, New York and Hong Kong are hubs for this activity, others are emerging to challenge their crown, and must be considered when trying to establish where is the best country to set up a fintech business.
The kingdom of Bahrain in the Middle East comprises 50 natural islands and an additional 33 artificial ones. Boasting a central Gulf location, it performs strongly when it comes to attracting companies and investors.
Offering a low operational cost base, as well as a stable economy, the country is thriving, and its inward investment market is burgeoning.
With more than120 fintech operations (many involved with payments and cryptocurrencies) in Bahrain, and about 20 incubators in the sector, the country’s ecosystem is well established and growing consistently.
With new regulatory reforms and digital finance frameworks in place, as well as ongoing government support for new businesses. Bahrain offers a tempting proposition for fintech companies looking to set up shop there.
In the Middle East, Bahrain continues to provide a regulated landscape for open banking. With recent figures showing another eight investing entities actively investing in fintech across Bahrain, the prospects for the industry in the county remain strong.
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Singapore is a sovereign island country with a population approaching 6 million in south-east Asia. The micro state acts as the gateway to many trading partners.
With a highly developed market economy, Singapore has a stable GDP growth rate that averages about 6% per annum.
Offering a high standard of living, a thriving business sector and a financially stable climate, Singapore is considered a business-friendly nation that continues to attract investment across a range of industries.
As of the end of 2022, Singapore had more than 1,600 registered fintech companies, with additional investments continuing to flow in.
With more inward investment arriving, the opportunity for collaboration between fintech companies, research institutions and academic colleges is becoming stronger in Singapore and more attractive to business leaders.
Led by the Singapore FinTech Association (SFA), the opportunity to set up a fintech business in Singapore has become both attractive and potentially lucrative.
Companies including Raion Labs, Jasper and Solaris have created a cross-industry, non-profit initiative that both nurtures existing business and makes Singapore a popular choice when it comes to setting up a fintech business.
Further to this, government support for new businesses has enabled a strong collaborative environment for fintech companies and their stakeholders, strengthening investment potential for both domestic and international companies.
As one of the leading global economies, India continues to be an attractive option for investors. From high-tech to IT, healthcare to finance, its economy is diverse and stable.
According to the IMF, India has an economy worth about $3.4trn, making it the fifth-largest economy in the world by market exchange rates, and its purchasing power parity of $11.6trn is the third-largest in the world.
When it comes to identifying the best country to set up a fintech business, India has a lot to offer. Boasting the highest fintech adoption rate globally, India is consistently ranked among the fastest-growing fintech markets in the world. As of the start of 2023, there were more than 2,000 fintech start-ups in India, a number that is growing both consistently and ahead of many global competitors.
A landlocked country bordering Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein, Switzerland is an economically stable and prosperous nation.
Ideally located for business access and trade routes, it is one of the most advanced free-trade countries in the world.
Alongside other thriving sectors, the fintech industry in Switzerland continues to grow and attract more inward and global investment. With just under 400 fintech companies, the majority of which are situated in the cantons of Zurich and Zug, the market is a considerable contributor to the country’s GDP and a large-scale employer.
With such an established ecosystem and business-friendly laws and taxes for new businesses, it is, for many, an idea country for those looking to set up a fintech business.
Approximately 31% of the existing fintech market belongs to the investment management subsector, with the banking infrastructure also representing a strong presence and accounting for about 25% of the market.
As blockchain and cryptocurrency continue to grow in terms of market share within the fintech space, the new and emerging tech ecosystem in Switzerland is a draw for would-be investors and companies looking to expand or start up in the country.
Statistics and data from Statista, the IMF, Globalisation and World Cities Research Network, Singapore Board of Trade and Commerce and India National Statistics.