Coat of Arms
President Dr. Tony Tan Keng Yam
»English, Malay, Mandarin, Tamil
»Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic
»718.3 km2 (190th)
» Per capita -Int$78,762
»US$297.941 billion (36th)
» Per capita – US$55,182
»Singapore dollar (SGD)
Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign city-state and island country in Southeast Asia. It lies off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula and is 137 kilometres (85 mi) north of the equator.
The country’s territory consists of the diamond-shaped main island, commonly referred to as Singapore Island in English and Pulau Ujong in Malay, and more than 60 significantly smaller islets. Singapore is separated from Peninsular Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to the north, and from Indonesia’s Riau Islands by the Singapore Strait to the south.
The country is highly urbanised, and little of the original vegetation remains. The country’s territory has consistently expanded through land reclamation.
The islands were settled in the second century AD and subsequently belonged to a series of local empires. Modern Singapore was founded in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles as a trading post of the East India Company with permission from the Johor Sultanate.
The British obtained sovereignty over the island in 1824, and Singapore became one of the British Straits Settlements in 1826. Occupied by the Japanese during World War II, Singapore became independent from the United Kingdom in 1963 and united with other former British territories to form Malaysia, from which it was expelled two years later through a unanimous act of parliament. Since then, Singapore has developed rapidly, earning recognition as one of the Four Asian Tigers.
The Port of Singapore, one of the world’s five busiest, with the skyline of Singapore in the background.
Along with Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan, Singapore is one of the original Four Asian Tigers. The Singaporean economy is known as one of the freest, most innovative, most competitive, and most business-friendly.
The 2013 Index of Economic Freedom ranks Singapore as the second freest economy in the world, behind Hong Kong. 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.
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. The country is currently the only Asian country to receive AAA credit ratings from all three major credit rating agencies: Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, Fitch.
Singapore attracts a large amount of foreign investment as a result of its location, corruption-free environment, skilled workforce, low tax rates and advanced infrastructure.
There are also approximately 1,500 companies from China and a similar number from India.
Foreign firms are found in almost all sectors of the country’s economy. Singapore is also the second-largest foreign investor in India. Roughly 44 percent of the Singaporean workforce is made up of non-Singaporeans.
Over ten free-trade agreements have been signed with other countries and regions. Despite market freedom, Singapore’s government operations have a significant stake in the economy, contributing 22% of the GDP.
Singapore also possesses the world’s eleventh largest foreign reserves, and has one of the highest net international investment position per capita. The currency of Singapore is the Singapore dollar, issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. It is interchangeable with the Brunei dollar.
Singapore is ranked 10 with an Economic Complexity Index (ECI) of 1.61342
Top 5 Products exported by Singapore
- Refined Petroleum (28%),
- Integrated Circuits (7.9%),
- Computers (4.3%),
- Oxygen Amino Compounds (3.2%),
- Packaged Medicaments (2.1%)
Top 5 Export destinations of Singapore
- China (14%),
- Malaysia (12%),
- Indonesia (12%),
- Hong Kong (7.4%),
- Australia (6.0%)
Top 5 Products imported by Singapore
- Refined Petroleum (23%),
- Crude Petroleum (12%),
- Integrated Circuits (6.5%),
- Computers (2.7%),
- Petroleum Gas (2.0%)
Top 5 Import origins of Singapore
- China (12%),
- Malaysia (10%),
- South Korea (8.4%),
- United States (7.1%),
- Japan (6.3%)
Tourism in Singapore is a major industry and contributor to the Singaporean economy, attracting 13,171,303 tourists in 2011, over twice Singapore’s total population.
It is also environmentally friendly and maintains natural and heritage conservation programs. Along with this, it also has one of the world’s lowest crime rates.
As English is the dominant one of its four official languages, it is generally easier for tourists to understand when speaking to the local population of the country, for example when shopping. Transport in Singapore exhaustively covers most, if not all public venues in Singapore, which increases convenience for tourists. This includes the well-known Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system.
The Orchard Road district, which is dominated by multi-storey shopping centres and hotels, can be considered the center of tourism in Singapore.
Other popular tourist attractions include the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, which allows people to explore Asian, African and American habitats at night without any visible barriers between guests and the wild animals. The Singapore Zoo has embraced the ‘open zoo’ concept whereby animals are kept in enclosures, separated from visitors by hidden dry or wet moats, instead of caging the animals.
- Beaches and tourist resorts: Head to one of the three beaches on Sentosa or its southern islands.
- Culture and cuisine: See Chinatown for Chinese treats, Little India for Indian flavours, Kampong Glam (Arab St) for a Malay/Arab experience or the East Coast for delicious seafood, including the famous chilli and black pepper crab.
- History and museums: The Bras Basah area east of Orchard and north of the Singapore River is Singapore’s colonial core, with historical buildings and museums.
- Nature and wildlife: Popular tourist attractions Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, Jurong Bird Park and the Botanical Gardens are all in the North and West. Finding “real” nature is a little harder, but the
- Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
- Pulau Ubin,
- The Garden City and City in a Garden are new concepts being promoted by the Singaporean government and Singaporeans take great pride in their parks and gardens.
- Botanical Gardens (including the National Orchid Garden) and the Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest).
- HortPark at the “Southern Ridges” and the “Chinese” and “Japanese Gardens”.Skyscrapers and shopping: