Singapore Economy

About the Singapore economy: Singapore is a country known for its strong and stable developed country. The development also includes the main factor of the country which is the economy. The economy is highly developed compared to other countries in the world. The country as a highly developed free-market economy. The country’s currency is Singapore dollar and its year is from 1st April to 31st March. The country is also ranked as the 3rd less corrupted country in the world since the country does not tolerate anything which is against the rules and regulations. The low tax rates are up to 14.2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and it has the third highest per-capita GDP in the world.

State-owned enterprises play the most vital role in the country. Sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings holds most of the stakes in several of the nation's largest companies such as Singapore Airlines, SingTel, ST Engineering and MediaCorp. Singapore’s economy is a major of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) outflow financier among the universe. Singapore also has the benefit of the inward flow of FDI from the global investors and institutions due to a highly attractive investment climate and a stable political environment.

The exports department is specifically on electronics, chemicals and services including Singapore’s position as the regional hub for wealth management provide main source of revenue for the economy where it allows the purchase of natural resources and raw goods where it lacks. There is water scarce in Singapore so therefore the country is very protective of this specific natural resource.

There is also scarcity is land especially in a place called Pulau Semakau with landfills. Singapore has limited arable land, meaning that Singapore has to rely on the agrotechnology park for agriculture production and consumption. Human resources are another vital issue for the health of the Singapore economy.

Trade organizations in Singapore:

  • WTO - World Trade Organizations
  • APEC - Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
  • IOR-ARC - Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Co-operation
  • ASEAN - Association of Southeast Asian Nations

Read Also: Process of opening a company in Singapore

Country group:

  • Developed or Advanced country
  • High-income economy

Singapore main industries:

  • Electronics
  • Chemicals
  • Financial services
  • Oil drilling equipment
  • Petroleum refining
  • Biomedical products
  • Scientific instruments
  • Telecommunications equipment
  • Rubber
  • Food and beverages
  • Ship repair
  • Offshore construction
  • Life sciences
  • Re-exportation

Singapore economy statistics:

Singapore economy statistics

Population 5,638,676 (2018) (increase-profit)
GDP $372.807 billion (nominal, 2019est) (increase-profit) $589.187 billion (PP, 2019est) (increase-profit)
GDP rank 36th (nominal, 2018) 36th (PPP, 2018)
GDP growth 2.8% (2016) 3.9% (2017) 302% (2018e) 2.3% (2019e)
GDP per capita rank 7th (nominal, 2018) 3rd (PPP, 2018)  
GDP by sector Agriculture 0% Industry 24.8% Services 75.2% (2017est)
Inflation (CPI) 0.439% (2018est)
Gini Coefficient 45.9 medium (2017)
Human Development Index 0.932 very high (2017) (9th) (increase-profit) 0.816 IHDI (2017)
Labor force 3,283,161 (2018) (increase-profit) 65.1% employment rate (2018) (increase-profit)
Labor force by occupation Agriculture 0.7% Industry 25.6% Services 73.7% (2017est) excluding non-residents
Unemployment 2.1% (2018est)
Ease-of-doing business rank 2nd (2019)

Singapore economy external factors:

Exports of the country are around US$329.7 billion (2016)

Export goods of the countries are as follows;

  • Machinery and Equipment
  • Electronics and Telecommunications
  • Pharmaceuticals and Other Chemicals
  • Refined petroleum products food and beverages

Singapore's main export partners;

  • China 13%
  • Hong Kong 13%
  • Malaysian 11%
  • European Union 9%
  • Indonesia 8%
  • Other 47%

Imports US$282.9 billion (2016)

Import goods in Singapore

  • Machinery and Equipment
  • Mineral fuels
  • Chemicals
  • Foodstuffs
  • Consumer Goods

Main import partners in Singapore

  • China 14%
  • European Union 14%
  • Malaysia 11%
  • Unites States 11%
  • Taiwan 8%
  • Other 42%

FDI stock in Singapore

  • $1.285 trillion (31 December 2017est) (increase-profit)
  • Abroad: $841.4 billion (31 December 2017est) (increase-profit)

Current account is $60.99 billion (2017est) (increase-profit)

Gross external debt $566.1 billion (31 December 2017est) (increase-loss)

Net international investment position S$738.811 billion (Q1 2015)

Public finances in Singapore:

  • Public debt 111.1% of GDP (2017est)
  • Revenues S$69.45 billion (2017est)
  • Expenses S$75.07 billion (2017est)
  • Foreign reserves $279.6 billion (31 December 2017est) (increase-profit)

Read Also: Starting a business in Singapore for foreigners

Economy sectors in Singapore:

Banking in Singapore:

The country is considered as the global financial hub since they offer world-class corporate bank account facilities. In 2017 Global Financial Centers Index, Singapore was ranked for having the 3rd most competitive financial center in the world, where the first 2 places are London and New York City.

Biotechnology in Singapore:

The country is continuously developing and innovating its biotechnology industry. Millions of dollars are invested into the sector to build up infrastructure, fund research and development and also to hire top scientist around the world in Singapore.

Energy and Infrastructure in Singapore:

The country is a pricing centre and leading oil trading hub in Asia. The oil industry is 5% of Singapore’s GDP. the oil industry has led to the promotion of the chemical industry as well as oil and gas equipment manufacturing.

Real estate in Singapore:

The country government owns over 90% of the country land and also the housing in which 80% of the population lives.

History of Singapore economy:

British Colonization:

Singapore’s economy was beneficiary during the colonization which was established for financial and commercial hubs. In 1819 Sir Stamford Raffles a lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen (1818-1824) established the port in Singapore and led the colonization, because of which it became the “second richest place in Asia after Japan”. In 1826 Singapore was deemed the capital of the strait’s settlement, which were colonized and captured by the British East India Company.

Trade Expansion:

In 1896, there were changes in the travel routes which brought economic opportunity. On 17th November 1869, the Suez Canal opened connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea. This outcome of the change in routes became a positive impact since the duration of the travel time was reduced and there was speed in transport. Due to this there was increase in trading and the country received $32 million dollars rise just a year after its opening. Later, in 1879 the trade volume reached up to $105 million.


In 1950 the region saw social unrest which resulted in colonial powers deciding to relinquish some decision making. The economic development was on board this time and it was the official name of the organization which was created for jobs. In 1955 the country’s local legislative assembly had totally 35 members in which 25 members were elected. In 1965 the independence from Malaysia, Singapore faced a small domestic market with high level of unemployment and poverty. 70 percent of which the country households are living poorly due those conditions. Unemployment was 14%, GDP per capital was US$ 516 and half the population was illiterate.

Industrialization Boom and Change:

1965 to 1973 the annual growth of real GDP was 12.7%.  1973-1979 there was increase in oil crisis and the government was aware about it.  During this period there was a management of less inflation and it provided workers proper machinery to sustain growth. The Singapore government established the Economic Development Board to spearhead an investment drive and make the country an attractive destination for foreign investment. In 2001 the FDI floes were increasingly growing and foreign companied accounted for up to 75%. By this time the investment rate rose to the highest level worldwide while household consumption and wages shares of GDP fell among the lowest.

Growth in the Service Sector:

During the year 1992 there was a significant increase in the capital stock where it was increased by 33 times. The tenfold increase in the capital-labor ratio. Living standards steadily rose with more families moving from lower-income status to middle-income security with increased household incomes. In 1987 Lee Kuan-Yew claimed that 80% of Singaporeans could now be acknowledged under the middle-class sector.

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