Introduction to Singapore as a Business Destination
The Republic of Singapore is a sovereign island country found in South East Asia (Abshire 4). The country is located 137 kilometers north of the equator on the Malay Peninsula (Abshire 5). The country is composed of the main Singapore Island as well as more than 60 other small islets (Abshire 5). Singapore borders the Peninsula of Malaysia to the North and the Rau Islands of Indonesia to the south (Abshire 6). According to the 2012 population reports, Singapore has a population of about 5. 3 million (Abshire 21). The official languages are English, Malay, Tamil and Mandarin (Abshire 55). Buddhism is the most practiced religion in the region with 34% of the population. Christians make up 18%, Muslims 14%, Taoists 10%, Hinduism adherents 5% (Abshire 60). Singapore has 11 major public holidays based on the cultural and religious beliefs of the citizens (Abshire 61).
The earliest known history of Singapore begins with the Tamasek settlement in the Sumatran Srivijaya Empire (Abshire 38). The settlement was raided and destroyed by Portuguese invaders in 1683 (Abshire 41). The British took over the Island in 1819 through a treaty signed between The Sultan Hussein Shah of Johor and Thomas Stamford Raffles (Abshire 43). The British converted the island into a thriving rubber exporter. Japan briefly took control of the Island during World War II in 1942 but had to relinquish the same in 1945 (Abshire 44). Singapore declared independence from the British imperial colonialist in 1963 (Abshire 46). The country governed by single multiparty parliamentary system. The People’s Action Party has been in power since 1959 (Abshire 49).
Singapore is a major global commercial hub. The country is the fourth largest financial centre and is home to one of the five busiest commercial ports in the world (Singapore Investment and Business Guide 6). Singapore is highly industrialized with manufacturing related trade contributing more than one quarter of the gross domestic product (GDP). The country has one of the world’s highest per capita income and ranks high in United Nations rankings for education, healthcare and governance (Singapore Investment and Business Guide 10). Singapore’s main exports are integrated electronic circuits (20%), refined petroleum oils (19%), data processing machines (4%), copying machines and printers (3%) and office machine spare parts (2%) (Singapore Investment and Business Guide 16). The leading imports are integrated electronic circuits (17%), unrefined petroleum products (7%), office machine accessories (3%) and cruise ships (2%) (Singapore Investment and Business Guide 16). The major trading partners are China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia and the United States.
Abshire, Jean E. The History of Singapore. Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood, 2011. Print.
Singapore Investment and Business Guide: Strategic and Practical Information. Intl Business Pubns USA, 2012. Print.