Introduction Singapore

Background: Singapore was founded as a British trading colony in 1819. It joined the Malaysian Federation in 1963 but separated two years later and became independent. It subsequently became one of the world’s most prosperous countries with strong international trading links (its port is one of the world’s busiest in terms of tonnage handled) and with per capita GDP equal to that of the leading nations of Western Europe.

Geography Singapore
Location: Southeastern Asia, islands between Malaysia and Indonesia
Geographic coordinates: 1 22 N, 103 48 E
Map references: Southeast Asia
Area: total: 692.7 sq km
land: 682.7 sq km
water: 10 sq km
Area – comparative: slightly more than 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 193 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 3 nm
exclusive fishing zone: within and beyond territorial sea, as defined in treaties and practice
Climate: tropical; hot, humid, rainy; two distinct monsoon seasons – Northeastern monsoon from December to March and Southwestern monsoon from June to September; inter-monsoon – frequent afternoon and early evening thunderstorms
Terrain: lowland; gently undulating central plateau contains water catchment area and nature preserve
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Singapore Strait 0 m
highest point: Bukit Timah 166 m
Natural resources: fish, deepwater ports
Land use: arable land: 1.64%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 98.36% (2001)
Irrigated land: NA sq km
Natural hazards: NA
Environment – current issues: industrial pollution; limited natural fresh water resources; limited land availability presents waste disposal problems; seasonal smoke/haze resulting from forest fires in Indonesia
Environment – international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography – note: focal point for Southeast Asian sea routes
People Singapore
Population: 4,425,720 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 16% (male 366,971/female 342,295)
15-64 years: 75.9% (male 1,639,842/female 1,719,829)
65 years and over: 8.1% (male 157,636/female 199,147) (2005 est.)
Median age: total: 36.76 years
male: 36.4 years
female: 37.07 years (2005 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.56% (2005 est.)
Birth rate: 9.49 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate: 4.16 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate: 10.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 2.29 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 2.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.06 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 81.62 years
male: 79.05 years
female: 84.39 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.05 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: 0.2% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 4,100 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: less than 200 (2003 est.)
Nationality: noun: Singaporean(s)
adjective: Singapore
Ethnic groups: Chinese 76.8%, Malay 13.9%, Indian 7.9%, other 1.4% (2000 census)
Religions: Buddhist 42.5%, Muslim 14.9%, Taoist 8.5%, Hindu 4%, Catholic 4.8%, other Christian 9.8%, other 0.7%, none 14.8% (2000 census)
Languages: Mandarin 35%, English 23%, Malay 14.1%, Hokkien 11.4%, Cantonese 5.7%, Teochew 4.9%, Tamil 3.2%, other Chinese dialects 1.8%, other 0.9% (2000 census)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.5%
male: 96.6%
female: 88.6% (2002)
Government Singapore
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Singapore
conventional short form: Singapore
Government type: parliamentary republic
Capital: Singapore
Administrative divisions: none
Independence: 9 August 1965 (from Malaysian Federation)
National holiday: National Day, 9 August (1965)
Constitution: 3 June 1959; amended 1965 (based on preindependence State of Singapore Constitution)
Legal system: based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch: chief of state: President Sellapan Rama (S. R.) NATHAN (since 1 September 1999)
head of government: Prime Minister LEE Hsien Loong (since 12 August 2004); Senior Minister GOH Chok Tong (since 12 August 2004); Minister Mentor LEE Kuan Yew (since 12 August 2004); Deputy Prime Ministers Shunmugan JAYAKUMAR (since 12 August 2004) and Tony TAN Keng Yam (since 1 August 1995)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by president, responsible to Parliament
elections: president elected by popular vote for six-year term; last appointed 17 August 2005 (next election to be held by August 2011); following legislative elections, leader of majority party or leader of majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by president; deputy prime ministers appointed by president
election results: Sellapan Rama (S. R.) NATHAN appointed president in August 2005 after Presidential Elections Committee disqualified three other would-be candidates
Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament (84 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); note – in addition, there are up to nine nominated members; the losing opposition candidate who came closest to winning a seat may be appointed as a “nonconstituency” member
elections: last held 3 November 2001 (next to be held not later than 25 June 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party – PAP 75.3% (in contested constituencies), other 24.7%; seats by party – PAP 82, WP 1, SPP 1
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (chief justice is appointed by the president with the advice of the prime minister, other judges are appointed by the president with the advice of the chief justice); Court of Appeals
Political parties and leaders: governing party: People’s Action Party or PAP [LEE Hsien Loong]; opposition parties: Democratic Progressive Party or DPP [LING How Dong]; National Solidarity Party or NSP [vacant] (SDA group); Singapore Democratic Alliance or SDA [CHIAM See Tong] (includes SPP, PKMS, NSP, SJP); Singapore Democratic Party or SDP [CHEE Soon Juan]; Singapore Justice Party or SJP [Desmond LIM] (SDA group); Singapore National Malay Organization or PKMS [Malik ISMAIL] (SDA group); Singapore People’s Party or SPP [CHIAM See Tong] (SDA group); Workers’ Party or WP [Sylvia Lim Swee LIAN] Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
International organization participation: APEC, APT, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN, BIS, C, CP, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador CHAN Heng Chee
chancery: 3501 International Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 537-3100
FAX: [1] (202) 537-0876
consulate(s) general: San Francisco
consulate(s): New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Franklin L. LAVIN
embassy: 27 Napier Road, Singapore 258508
mailing address: FPO AP 96507-0001
telephone: [65] 6476-9100
FAX: [65] 6476-9340
Flag description: two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and white; near the hoist side of the red band, there is a vertical, white crescent (closed portion is toward the hoist side) partially enclosing five white five-pointed stars arranged in a circle
Economy Singapore
Economy – overview: Singapore, a highly developed and successful free market economy, enjoys a remarkably open and corruption-free environment, stable prices, and a per capita GDP equal to that of the Big 4 West European countries. The economy depends heavily on exports, particularly in electronics and manufacturing. It was hard hit in 2001-03 by the global recession, by the slump in the technology sector, and by an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in 2003, which curbed tourism and consumer spending. The government hopes to establish a new growth path that will be less vulnerable to the external business cycle and will continue efforts to establish Singapore as Southeast Asia’s financial and high-tech hub. Fiscal stimulus, low interest rates, a surge in exports, and internal flexibility led to vigorous growth in 2004, with real GDP rising by 8 percent, by far the economy’s best performance since 2000.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $120.9 billion (2004 est.)
GDP – real growth rate: 8.1% (2004 est.)
GDP – per capita: purchasing power parity – $27,800 (2004 est.)
GDP – composition by sector: agriculture: 0% negligible
industry: 32.6%
services: 67.4% (2004 est.)
Labor force: 2.18 million (2004 est.)
Labor force – by occupation: manufacturing 18%, construction 6%, transportation and communication 11%, financial, business, and other services 49%, other 16% (2003)
Unemployment rate: 3.4% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.7% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 27.4% of GDP (2004 est.)
Budget: revenues: $17.05 billion
expenditures: $18.45 billion, including capital expenditures of $5.8 billion (2004 est.)
Public debt: 102.5% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture – products: rubber, copra, fruit, orchids, vegetables, poultry, eggs, fish, ornamental fish
Industries: electronics, chemicals, financial services, oil drilling equipment, petroleum refining, rubber processing and rubber products, processed food and beverages, ship repair, offshore platform construction, life sciences, entrepot trade
Industrial production growth rate: 11.1% (2004 est.)
Electricity – production: 35.33 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity – production by source: fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity – consumption: 32 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity – exports: 0 kWh (2003)
Electricity – imports: 0 kWh (2003)
Oil – production: 0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil – consumption: 700,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil – exports: NA
Oil – imports: NA
Natural gas – production: 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas – consumption: 2.5 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas – exports: 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas – imports: 2.5 billion cu m
note: from Indonesia and Malaysia (2001 est.)
Current account balance: $8.8 billion (2004 est.)
Exports: $174 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports – commodities: machinery and equipment (including electronics), consumer goods, chemicals, mineral fuels
Exports – partners: Malaysia 15.2%, US 13%, Hong Kong 9.8%, China 8.6%, Japan 6.4%, Taiwan 4.6%, Thailand 4.3%, South Korea 4.1% (2004)
Imports: $155.2 billion (2004 est.)
Imports – commodities: machinery and equipment, mineral fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs
Imports – partners: Malaysia 15.3%, US 12.7%, Japan 11.7%, China 9.9%, Taiwan 5.7%, South Korea 4.3%, Thailand 4.1% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $112.8 billion (2004 est.)
Debt – external: $19.4 billion (2004 est.)
Economic aid – recipient: NA
Currency (code): Singapore dollar (SGD)
Currency code: SGD
Exchange rates: Singapore dollars per US dollar – 1.6902 (2004), 1.7422 (2003), 1.7906 (2002), 1.7917 (2001), 1.724 (2000)
Fiscal year: 1 April – 31 March
Communications Singapore
Telephones – main lines in use: 1,896,100 (2004)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 3,521,800 (2004)
Telephone system: general assessment: excellent service
domestic: excellent domestic facilities
international: country code – 65; submarine cables to Malaysia (Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia), Indonesia, and the Philippines; satellite earth stations – 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean), and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific Ocean region)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 0, FM 17, shortwave 2 (2003)
Radios: 2.6 million (2000)
Television broadcast stations: 7 (2003)
Televisions: 1.33 million (1997)
Internet country code: .sg
Internet hosts: 484,825 (2003)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 9 (2000)
Internet users: 2.31 million (2002)
Transportation Singapore
Highways: total: 3,130 km
paved: 3,130 km (including 150 km of expressways)
unpaved: 0 km (2002)
Pipelines: gas 139 km (2004)
Ports and harbors: Singapore
Merchant marine: total: 923 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 23,065,290 GRT/36,393,317 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 138, cargo 86, chemical tanker 115, combination ore/oil 5, container 180, liquefied gas 42, livestock carrier 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 316, refrigerated cargo 3, vehicle carrier 36
foreign-owned: 487 (Australia 5, Bangladesh 1, Belgium 10, China 15, Denmark 34, Germany 7, Greece 5, Hong Kong 43, India 3, Indonesia 54, Japan 83, Malaysia 31, Norway 83, Philippines 3, Russia 1, Slovenia 1, South Korea 12, Sweden 12, Taiwan 44, Thailand 17, UAE 6, United Kingdom 12, United States 5)
registered in other countries: 276 (2005)
Airports: 10 (2004 est.)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 10
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Military Singapore
Military branches: Singapore Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force, Air Defense (2005)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for compulsory military service; 16 years of age for volunteers; conscript service obligation reduced to 24 months beginning December 2004 (December 2004)
Manpower available for military service: males age 18-49: 1,215,568 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 18-49: 982,368 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures – dollar figure: $4.47 billion (FY01 est.)
Military expenditures – percent of GDP: 4.9% (FY01)
Transnational Issues Singapore
Disputes – international: disputes persist with Malaysia over deliveries of fresh water to Singapore, Singapore’s extensive land reclamation works, bridge construction, maritime boundaries, and Pedra Branca Island/Pulau Batu Putih – parties agree to ICJ arbitration on island dispute within three years; Indonesia and Singapore pledged in 2005 to finalize their 1973 maritime boundary agreement by defining unresolved areas north of Batam Island; piracy remains a problem in the Malacca Strait
Illicit drugs: as a transportation and financial services hub, Singapore is vulnerable, despite strict laws and enforcement, to be used as a transit point for Golden Triangle heroin and as a venue for money laundering

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