singapore The roaring lion of asia


Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, and often referred to as the Lion City, the Garden City, and the Red Dot, is a leading global city in Southeast Asia and the world’s only island citystate. Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by more than 20%, and its greening policy has covered the densely populated island with tropical flora, parks and gardens. Singapore is a global commerce, financial and transportation hub. Its standings include: “Easiest place to do business” (World Bank) for ten consecutive years, most “Technology-ready” nation (EIU), top “International meetings city” (UIA), city with “Best investment potential” (BERI), 2nd-most competitive country (WEF), 3rd-largest foreign exchange centre, 4th-largest financial centre, 3rd-largest oil refining and trading centre and one of the top two busiest container ports since the 1990s. Singapore’s best known global brands include Singapore Airlines and Changi Airport, both amongst the mostawarded in their industry; SIA is also rated by Fortune surveys as Asia’s “most admired company”. For the past decade, it is the only Asian country with the top AAA sovereign rating from all major credit rating agencies, including S&P, Moody’s and
Singapore has a highly developed market economy, based historically on extended entrepôt trade. Along with Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan, Singapore is one of the original Four Asian Tigers, but has surpassed its peers in terms of GDP per capita. The Singaporean economy is known to be one of the most competitive, dynamic and business-friendly economies. The 2015 Index of Economic Freedom ranks Singapore as the second freest economy in the world. 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.
Government-linked companies play a substantial role in Singapore’s economy, which are owned through the sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings, which holds majority stakes in several of the nation’s largest companies, such as Singapore Airlines, SingTel, ST Engineering and MediaCorp.
The economy of Singapore is a major Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) outflow financier in the world. Singapore has also benefited from the inward flow of FDI from global investors and institutions due to her highly attractive investment climate and a stable political environment.
Exports, particularly in electronics, chemicals and services including the posture that Singapore is the regional hub for wealth management provide the main source of revenue for the economy, which allows it to purchase natural resources and raw goods which it lacks. Moreover, water is scarce in Singapore therefore water is defined as a precious resource in Singapore along with the scarcity of land to be treated with land fill of Pulau Semakau. Singapore has limited arable land, meaning that Singapore has to rely on the agrotechnology park for agricultural production and consumption. Human resources is another vital issue for the health of the Singaporean economy. The economy of Singapore ranks 2nd overall in the Scientific American Biotechnology ranking in 2014, with the featuring of Biopolis.
Singapore also has a strategic port which makes it more competitive than many of its neighbours in carrying out such entrepot activities. Singapore has the highest trade to GDP ratio in the world, averaging around 400% during 2008–11. The Port of Singapore is the third-busiest in the world by cargo
In addition, Singapore’s port infrastructure and skilled workforce, which is due to the success of the country’s education policy in producing skilled workers, is also fundamental in this aspect as they provide easier access to markets for both importing and exporting, and also provide the skill(s) needed to refine imports into exports.
Singapore’s government promotes high levels of savings and investment through policies such as the Central Provident Fund, which is used to fund its citizen’s healthcare and retirement needs. Singapore’s savings rates have remained among the highest in the world since the 1970s.
To preserve its international standing and further its economic prosperity in the 21st century, Singapore has taken measures to promote innovation, encourage entrepreneurship, re-train her workforce, and even attract foreign talents. To attract foreign talents, Singaporean government issues Employment Pass (EP) under three categories viz. P1 Employment Pass for those individuals with monthly income of $8,000 and up, P2 Employment Pass for individuals with monthly income of $4,500– 7,999 and Q1 Employment Pass individuals with a monthly income of at least $3,000. The Ministry of Manpower (MoM) oversees the matter related to immigration of workers. These measures aim to boost Singapore’s productivity, so that Singapore remains competitive and ready for the challenges of an information-driven global economy. For the past decade, Singapore has been the only Asian country to receive the top-tier AAA sovereign ratings from all major credit rating agencies, including Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, Fitch. Globally, it is one of only nine countries with AAA rating from the Big Three (credit rating agencies). Singapore attracts a large amount of foreign investment as a result of its location, corruptionfree environment, skilled workforce, low tax rates and advanced infrastructure. There are more than 7,000 multinational corporations from the United States, Japan, and Europe in Singapore. 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 is considered a barometer of global economic health, especially within Asia, owing to its high dependence on external trade. Its foreign trade and capital flows is 407.9% of its GDP, making it the most trade dependent country in the world. It is the 14th largest exporter and the 15th largest importer in the world. Singapore has the world’s eleventh largest foreign reserves, and 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. In recent years, the country has been identified as an increasingly popular tax haven for the wealthy due to the low tax rate on personal income and tax exemptions on foreign-based income and capital gains. Australian millionaire retailer Brett Blundy, with an estimated personal wealth worth AU$835 million, and multi-billionaire Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin are two examples of wealthy individuals who have settled in Singapore (Blundy in 2013 and Saverin in 2012). Singapore ranked fifth on the Tax Justice Network’s 2013 Financial Secrecy Index of the world’s top tax havens, scoring narrowly ahead of the United States.
Singapore has the world’s highest percentage of millionaires, with one out of every six households having at least one million US dollars in disposable wealth. This excludes property, businesses, and luxury goods, which if included would increase the number of millionaires, especially as property in Singapore is among the world’s most expensive. Singapore does not have a minimum wage, believing that it would lower its competitiveness. It also has one of the highest income inequalities among developed countries.
Globally, Singapore is a leader in several economic sectors, including 3rd-largest foreign exchange centre, 4th-leading financial centre, 2nd-largest casino gambling market, 3rd-largest oil-refining and trading centre, world’s largest oilrig producer and major hub for ship repair services, world’s top logistics
The economy is diversified, with its top contributors – financial services, manufacturing, oil-refining. Its main exports are refined petroleum, integrated circuits and computers which constituted 27% of the country’s GDP in 2010, and includes significant electronics, petroleum refining, chemicals, mechanical engineering and biomedical sciences sectors. In 2006, Singapore produced about 10% of the world’s foundry wafer output.
Singapore’s largest companies are in the telecoms, banking, transportation and manufacturing sectors, many of which started as state-run enterprises, and has since been listed on the Singapore Exchange, including Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel), Singapore Technologies Engineering, Keppel Corporation, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), Development Bank of Singapore (DBS), United Overseas Bank (UOB). In 2011, amidst the global financial crisis, OCBC, DBS and UOB were ranked as the world’s 1st, 5th, 6th “strongest banks in the world” respectively by Bloomberg surveys.
The nation’s best known global brands include Singapore Airlines, Changi Airport and Port of Singapore, all three are amongst the most-awarded in their respective industry sectors. Singapore Airlines is ranked as Asia’s mostadmired company, and world’s 19th most-admired in 2015, by Fortune’s annual “50 most admired companies in the world” industry surveys. It is also the world’s mostawarded airline, including “Best international airline”, by US-based Travel + Leisure reader surveys, for 20 consecutive years. Changi Airport connects over 100 airlines to more than 300 cities. The strategic international air hub has more than 480 “World’s Best Airport” awards as of 2015, and is known as the most-awarded airport in the world. Tourism forms a large part of the economy, with over 15 million tourists visiting the city-state in 2014. To expand the sector, casinos were legalised in 2005, but only two licenses for “Integrated Resorts” were issued, to control money laundering and addiction. Singapore also promotes itself as a medical tourism hub: about 200,000 foreigners seek medical care there each year. Singapore medical services aim to serve at least one million foreign patients annually and generate USD3 billion in revenue.
Singapore is an education hub, with more than 80,000 international students. 5,000 Malaysian students cross the Johor–Singapore Causeway daily to attend schools in Singapore. In 2009, 20% of all students in Singaporean universities were international students, a majority from ASEAN, China and India.