AN INCREASING number of local firms are conducting credit searches on foreign companies around the region as they push to expand overseas.
The searches focus on a company's credit ratings and scores, payment records and bankruptcy rates.
The aim is to uncover any problems before a boss here commits to doing business with a foreign company.
There has been a a 14.54 per cent increase in the number of overseas commercial credit searches done by Singaporean firms on foreign firms from the first quarter of 2011 to the last quarter of 2013, according to a study by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Singapore.
D&B chief executive Audrey Chia said in a statement on Monday: "The rise in overseas commercial credit searches over the past two years clearly underscored the growing demand for readily accessible and reliable business information that is important in helping local companies increase their footprint internationally."
The D&B study also showed a strong correlation between Singapore's top trading partners and the most searched countries.
A comparison between International Enterprise (IE) Singapore's latest export figures and D&B Singapore's findings showed that 17 of the 20 most searched countries matched those in IE Singapore's list of the top 20 export countries that Singapore firms export to.
Japan moved up two places to be the top country doing credit searches on Singapore in the 2011 to 2013 period.
This increase could be a result of the tariff concessions that came into effect in 2008 and boosted trade between Japan and Singapore.
Ms Chia said: "Singapore remains very much an attractive destination for developed economies to expand their business here.
"This is evident from the fact that at least 10 of the top 20 countries performing commercial searches on Singapore companies are from developed economies."