Business Environment in Singapore
Singapore's economy was particularly affected by the international financial crisis, because of its very extreme financialization, and its large degree of openness, and thus its dependence on international trade. While GDP growth was above 7.5% from 2004 to 2007, it dropped sharply in 2009 (-1.3%). However, boosted by the regional economic recovery which fuelled a sharp increase in exports, as well as by the resumed vigor of domestic demand, Singapore’s growth reached an exceptional degree of 15% of the GDP in 2010. This growth should probably slow down in 2011 and reach a more sustainable level.
The strong recovery context allowed the government to put an end to the exceptional tax measures adopted in order to combat the crisis. The present priorities are to channel this strong growth, contain the hike in real estate prices and fight against inflation pressures. Mid-term objectives of promoting innovation and research and productivity gains are again pursued. IN order to maintain its competitive position despite the growth of salaries, the government seeks especially to promote activities with high added value (such as biotechnology, R&D and pharmaceutical products) in the manufacturing and service sectors.
The level of per capita wealth in Singapore is amongst the highest in the region. After a long period of full employment, unemployment has appeared, especially due to structural economic chances (outsourcing of low-skilled work) and worsened during the crisis. However, it decreased in 2010 and now remains at around 2% of the active population.
|GDP (billions USD)||183.33||222.70||253.74e||266.16||278.77|
|GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)||-0.8||14.5||5.2e||4.4||4.3|
|GDP per Capita (USD)||36,112||43,117||48,286e||49,783||51,250|
|General Government Balance (in % of GDP)||-1.4||3.5e||1.8e||2.3||2.5|
|Inflation Rate (%)||0.6||2.8||3.3e||3.0e||2.3|
|Unemployment Rate (% of the Labor Force)||3.0||2.2||2.2||2.2||2.2|
|Current Account (billions USD)||33.84e||42.86||46.22||49.47e||-|
|Current Account (in % of GDP)||19.1e||22.0e||22.4||22.7||-|
Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database
Note: (e) Estimated Data
Main Sectors of Industry
Singapore's economy is highly industrialized. The biggest sector is the manufacturing sector, followed by the wholesale and retail sector, business services, transport and communication and financial services. The electronics and petrochemical industries are dominant. The services sector contributes almost three quarters of the GDP and employs three quarters of the active population. The industrial sector represents a quarter of the GDP. The primary sector is almost nonexistent (except for the cultivation of orchids, vegetables and fish for aquariums). Singapore does not have any mineral resources.
Singapore is a regional trading hub. The Port of Singapore is amongst the world's biggest and is the second traffic center for container transshipment, behind Hong Kong.
|Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector||Agriculture||Industry||Services|
|Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment)||1.1||22.6||76.2|
|Value Added (in % of GDP)||0.1||26.3||74.0|
|Value Added (Annual % Change)||-4.4||-1.0||3.8|
Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.
|Singapore Dollar (SGD) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD||1.66||1.59||1.51||1.41||1.45|
Source: World Bank
Indicator of Economic Freedom
- World Rank:
- Regional Rank:
Foreign Trade in Figures
A real warehouse and crossroads of international trade, Singapore is highly dependent on external trade, which represents more than 400% of the GDP (2007-2009). The strategy adopted by the country is to promote export while being careful to minimize barriers to imports. Singapore signed the Asian Free Trade Area agreements (AFTA in the ASEAN context) and several bilateral agreements.
Singapore imports machinery and equipment, mineral fuels, chemical products, food commodities and consumption goods from Malaysia, United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. The country exports machinery and equipment (electronic), consumption goods, pharmaceutical products and mineral fuels to Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, the United States, Japan and Australia.
Singapore shows a high trade surplus, a trend which should continue in the coming years.
|Foreign Trade Indicators||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010|
|Imports of Goods (million USD)||238,710||263,155||319,780||245,785||310,791|
|Exports of Goods (million USD)||271,807||299,308||338,176||269,833||351,867|
|Imports of Services (million USD)||64,938||74,405||87,202||79,117||96,067|
|Exports of Services (million USD)||66,078||84,824||99,002||93,245||111,736|
|Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||204.5||187.5||202.6||-||-|
|Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||233.5||217.4||220.5||-||-|
|Trade Balance (million USD)||42,591||45,963||26,615||30,231||-|
|Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD)||42,093||52,784||34,906||-||-|
|Foreign Trade (in % of GDP)||438.1||404.9||423.1||-||-|
Source: WTO - World Trade Organization ; World Bank
Main Partner Countries
(% of Exports)
|United Arab Emirates||1.4%|
|Other partnersClose extended list||51.0%|
(% of Imports)
|United Arab Emirates||1.7%|
|Other partnersClose extended list||52.5%|
Sources of General Economic Information
Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI)
Ministry of National Development (MND)
Ministry of Manpower (MOM)
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)
Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB)
- Statistical Office
Department of Statistics
- Central Bank
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
- Stock Exchange
Stock Exchange of Singapore
- Search Engines
- Economic Portals
- Executive Power
- President is the chief of the state. The role of the president is largely ceremonial. Following legislative elections, leader of majority party or leader of majority coalition is usually appointed Prime Minister by the President as head of the government. Prime Minister enjoys the all the executive powers which include implementation of the law in the country and running the day-to-day affairs.
- Legislative Power
The legislature is unicameral in Singapore . The Parliament consists of 84 seats: 9 members of parliament (MPs) are directly elected from single-member constituencies, and 75 are elected in teams of between four and six to represent the 15 Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs). In addition, there are up to nine nominated members.Parliament is supreme to all other government. The government is dependent on the support of the parliament, often expressed through a vote of confidence.
- Main Political Parties
- Though Singapore is a multi-party nation, but practically it has been dominated by one-party which has been in power since its independence. It is PAP (People's Action Party).
Opposition parties are allowed, but are widely considered to have no real chance of gaining power. Some of the important opposition parties are:
SDA (Singapore Democratic Alliance) – a common opposition alliance to fight PAP
SDP (Singapore Democratic Party) – a liberal democratic party
WP (Workers' Party of Singapore) – a party of industrial workers.
For more details, consult the list of the political parties in Singapour.
- Current Political Leaders
- President: S. R. NATHAN (since September 1999, re-elected in August 2005) – non-partisan
Prime Minister: LEE Hsien Loong (since August 2004) - PAP
- Next Election Dates
- Presidential: August 2011
Parliamentary: May 2011
Indicator of Freedom of the Press
- World Rank:
- 11 places up compared to 2008
Indicator of Political Freedom
- Partly Free
- Political Freedom:
- Civil Liberties:
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