Economy of Singapore

The economy of Singapore is a highly-developed free-market economy.[20][21] Singapore's economy has been ranked by the World Economic Forum as the most open in the world,[22] the 3rd-least corrupt,[23] and the most pro-business.[24] Singapore has low tax-rates[25] and the second-highest per-capita GDP in the world in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP). The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is headquartered in Singapore.

Economy of Singapore
Skyline of Singapore's Downtown Core
CurrencySingapore dollar (SGD/S$)
1 April – 31 March
Trade organisations
Country group
Population 5,770,040 (2020)[3]
  • $379.071 billion (nominal, 2021 est.)[4]
  • $617.987 billion (PPP, 2021 est.)[5]
GDP rank
GDP growth
  • 3.4% (2018) 0.7% (2019)
  • −3.5% (2020e) 5.5% (2021e)[6]
GDP per capita
  • $64,217 (nominal, 2021 est.)[4]
  • $104,691 (PPP, 2021 est.)[4]
GDP by sector
1.101% (2021 est.)[4]
Population below poverty line
45.9 medium (2017)[7][lower-alpha 1]
Labour force
  • 3,843,513 (2021)[10]
  • 65.1% employment rate (2018)[11]
Labour force by occupation
  • 2.6% (2021 est.)[10]
Main industries
2nd (very easy, 2020)[12]
Exports US$626 billion (2020)[13][14]
Export goods
Main export partners
Imports US$533 billion (2019)[14]
Import goods
Main import partners
FDI stock
  • $1.285 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)[7]
  • Abroad: $841.4 billion (31 December 2017 est.)[7]
$60.99 billion (2017 est.)[7]
$566.1 billion (31 December 2017 est.)[lower-alpha 2][7]
S$738.811 billion (Q1 2015)[15]
Public finances
111.1% of GDP (2017 est.)[lower-alpha 3][7]
RevenuesS$69.45 billion (2017 est.)[16]
ExpensesS$75.07 billion (2017 est.)[16]
Economic aidN/A
Foreign reserves
$462.304 billion (31 December 2020 est.)[19]
Main data source: CIA World Fact Book
All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.

Alongside the business-friendly reputation, state-owned enterprises play a substantial role in Singapore's economy. The sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings holds majority stakes in several of the nation's largest companies, such as Singapore Airlines, SingTel, ST Engineering and MediaCorp. The Singaporean economy 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 its highly attractive investment climate and a stable political environment in recent years.[26]

The country's main exports, include electronics, chemicals and services. Singapore is the regional hub for wealth management.[27][28][29] Water is scarce in Singapore,[30] therefore it is defined as a precious resource.

Singapore has limited arable land, meaning that Singapore has to rely on agrotechnology parks for agricultural production.[31][32] Human resources is another vital issue for the health of the Singaporean economy.[33] The economy of Singapore ranked 2nd overall in the Scientific American Biotechnology ranking in 2014,[34] with the featuring of Biopolis.

Singapore could thus be said[by whom?] to rely on an extended concept of intermediary trade to entrepôt trade, by purchasing raw goods and refining them for re-export, such as in the wafer-fabrication industry and in oil refining. Singapore has a strategic port which makes it more competitive than many of its neighbours in carrying out such entrepôt activities. Singapore's trade to GDP ratio is among the highest in the world, averaging around 400% during 2008–11.[35][36] The Port of Singapore is the second-busiest in the world by cargo tonnage. Singapore was scheduled to hold the 2021 World Economic Forum from 17–20 August.[37]

To preserve its international standing and to further its economic prosperity in the 21st century, Singapore has taken measures to promote innovation, to encourage entrepreneurship and to re-train its workforce.[38] The Ministry of Manpower (MoM) has the prime responsibility for setting, adjusting, and enforcing foreign-worker immigration-rules. Approximately 243,000 foreign domestic workers (FDWs) operate in Singapore.[39]