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Singapore, a city state in South East Asia, became an independent country in 1965. With a land area of 633 square kilometers, it is made up of the main Island (Pulau Ujong) and about 50 other small islands. Singapore has an equatorial climate and large areas of tropical rainforests.
The overall country’s population is 5.2 million, with Singapore City, the capital, being home to 3.5 million residents. 75% of the population is of Chinese background, 17% of them come from Malaysia, and 8% - of Indian origin. Overseas workers account for 50% of the total population. It is the second most densely populated nation worldwide, after Monaco.
The country boasts one of the globe’s highest standards of living. Its currency is Singapore dollar.
The country has a highly developed successful free market economy. It has stable prices with inflation at 4.6% in 2012. It relies heavily on exports of consumer electronics, IT products, pharmaceuticals, and also on a strong financial sector.
From 2004 to 2007, the GDP grew at a rate of 8.6%. With the global financial crisis of 2009 it suffered badly and only grew by 0.8% but then rebounded in 2010 with a staggering growth of 14.8% - third in the world after Qatar and Paraguay. This slowed in 2011 to 5.2% and 1.3% in 2012 with demand for export products dwindling during the Euro crisis. The GDP was valued at USD 251.5 billion in 2012. 26.8% was generated by industry and 73.2% by the service centre. Unemployment stood at 1.9% in 2012.
Singapore's main export partners are Malaysia, the USA, Hog Kong, China, Indonesia, Japan, Australia, and South Korea.
Its import partners are Malaysia, the USA, China, South Korea, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.
In 2012, the electronics industry contributed 78.1 billion Singapore dollars to the economy. It is responsible for 38.8% of all investment, and it employs 80,000 people.
This sector includes: 14 silicon wafer fabrication plants; 11 of the world's top 20 integrated device manufacturers; 20 semiconductor operations; top 3 hard disk manufacturers; 4 of the world's top 5 electronic manufacturing service providers;
The leading companies based in the country include, among others, Seagate Technology, STMicroelectronics, Murate Manufacturing Co, and Ventura Corporation.
Sales of consumer electronics were strong in 2012-2013 mainly due to the strong markets for smartphones, tablets and portable laptops. The market is predicted to remain buoyant as consumers tend to upgrade to novel versions of these smart devices as they become available.
Banking and Finance
Singapore has turned into the finance and banking centre of Southeast Asia, with companies including wealth management firms, international banks, and other financial establishments. Banking, insurance and foreign exchange have been the main growth areas in the sector. Singapore’s geographical posiiton and telecom network makes possible and convenientto trade 24 hours a day. The country is home to several prominent names in the industry, including Prudential, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Barclays Capital, etc. The sector grew by over 5% in 2011.
A growth of 12% in the tourist industry of Singapore is predicted by 2015; it is expected that 17 million people will visit and contribute 30 billion Singapore dollars to the domestic industry. Two integrated resorts were completed in 2011, and the revenues generated by the casino amounted to 1.7% of the nation’s GDP. The country has aimed at world class tourist facilities, and it is succeeding with its airline (Singapore airlines), its airport and Shangri La hotel – all having won world's best awards in recent years. Singapore has begun to attract tourists from other Asian countries like China, India and Malaysia. It has also begun to look at niche tourism such as medical tourism, business tourism and retail tourism. World class sporting events, such as the Formula 1 Grand Prix, have also raised the country's international profile.
The local chemical industry is growing at a fast race due to the government’s increased focus on the sector development. The country is deemed to be among the 10 leading petrochemical centers globally. It is a leader in the oil refining business and is among the top 3 oil trading hubs worldwide. Some of the dominant domestic companies comprise Sumitomo Chemical, Exxon Mobil, and Shell. Jurong Island houses 94 firms operating in the sector, who have made an investment of 31 billion Singapore dollars in fixed assets on this site. Chemicals were responsible for 37% of the country’s GDP in 2010.