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Economy of Singapore PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 14 July 2011 10:10

SingaporeSingapore has a highly developed market-based economy, based historically on extended entrepôt trade. Along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Republic of China (Taiwan), Singapore is one of the Four Asian Tigers. The economy depends heavily on exports

and refining imported goods, especially in manufacturing, which constituted 27.2% of Singapore'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. The country is the world's fourth leading financial centre. Singapore has one of the busiest ports in the world and is the world's fourth largest foreign-exchange trading centre after London, New York and Tokyo. The World Bank ranks Singapore as the world's top logistics hub.

Before independence in 1965, Singapore had a GDP per capita of $511, then the third highest in East Asia. After independence, foreign direct investment and a state-led drive for industrialisation based on plans by Goh Keng Swee and Albert Winsemius created a modern economy. As a result of global recession and a slump in the technology sector, the country's GDP contracted by 2.2% in 2001. The Economic Review Committee was set up in December 2001 and recommended several policy changes to revitalise the economy. Singapore has since recovered, largely due to improvements in the world economy; the economy grew by 8.3% in 2004, 6.4% in 2005, and 7.9% in 2006. After a contraction of −0.8% in 2009, the economy recovered in 2010 with a GDP growth of 14.5%.

Singapore possesses the world's tenth largest foreign reserves. Singapore's external trade is of higher value than its GDP, making trade one of the most vital components of the economy. Over ten free trade agreements have been signed with other countries and regions. Singapore's economy was ranked the world's most open in 2009, competitive and innovative. Singapore is rated the most business-friendly economy in the world. The currency of Singapore is the Singapore dollar, issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. It is interchangeable with the Brunei dollar.

Most work in Singapore is in the service sector, which employed around 2,151,400 people out of 3,102,500 jobs in December 2010. Around 64.2% of jobs were held by locals. The percentage of unemployed economically active people above age 15 is about 2%. Poverty levels are low compared to other countries in the region. The government provides cheap housing and financial assistance to poorer people. Singapore has the world's highest percentage of millionaire households, with 15.5 percent of all households owning at least one million US dollars.

Tourism forms a large part of the economy, and 10.2 million tourists visited the country in 2007. To attract more tourists, in 2005 the government legalised gambling and allowed two casino resorts (called Integrated Resorts) to be developed. Singapore is promoting itself as a medical tourism hub: about 200,000 foreigners seek medical care there each year, and Singapore medical services aim to serve one million foreign patients annually by 2012 and generate USD 3 billion in revenue.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 July 2011 10:39