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(Republic of Singapore)

Singapore is a southeast Asian city-state situated on an island off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula.

Combined with an open trade and investment environment, this geographical position has made the country a popular choice for many international companies using it as a gateway to less open economies in the region.


Singapore is the 14th largest exporter and the 15th largest importer in the world. The country has the highest trade-to-GDP ratio in the world at 407.9 percent, signifying the importance of trade to its economy. Much of its trade is destined for other countries in the region and its port is considered to be one of the biggest and busiest in the world.

Singapore has a highly developed service sector that is very active across the region, and a significant percentage of its exports is derived from the export of services to other regional countries.

Singapore attracts a lot of foreign direct investment because of its location, skilled workforce, low tax rates, advanced infrastructure and  corruption-free environment*. While it was long seen as playing second fiddle to Hong Kong in terms of economic freedom, according to most studies, Singapore is now recognised as the freest economy in the world.


Nominally a democracy, the city-state has been ruled by the same party for many decades. Its authoritarian approach to social issues, including censorship and harassment of opposition parties, has caused some resentment among some members of the citizenry, but the vast majority of the population has shown little interest in calling for wider freedoms and greater reforms.

As one of the five founding members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), and because its economic growth is closely linked with the economic progress of the region as a whole, Singapore is a strong supporter of the ASEAN Free Trade Area and the ASEAN Investment Area.

Other regional organisations are also important to Singapore, and it is the host of the APEC Secretariat and a member of other trans-national organisations, such as Asia-Europe Meeting, the Forum for East Asia-Latin American Cooperation, and the East Asia Summit. It is also a member of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth.


Population: c. 4,740,740  
Capital City: Singapore
Government: City-state, Parliamentary Republic
State Languages: Mandarin Chinese (official), English (official), Malay (official), others (Cantonese, Hakka, Teochiew, Tamil)
GDP per capita (PPP): $62,100
Growth Rate: 10%-15%

External Links

  • http://www.gov.sg/ – Singapore Government Information. Interesting website with useful sections dedicated to business stages, tax incentivies and support services.

*According to the Corruption Perceptions Index, Singapore is consistently ranked as one of the least corrupt countries in the world, along with New Zealand and the Scandinavian countries.

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