[Country name] Republic of Singapore.
[Area] 719.1 square kilometers.
[Population] The total population is 5.615 million (2017), and the number of citizens and permanent residents is 3.90 million. The ethnic Chinese account for about 75%, and the rest are Malays, Indians and other races. Malay is the national language. English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil are the official languages. English is the administrative language. The main religions are Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Christianity and Hinduism.
[Capital] Singapore.
[Head of State] President Halimah Yacob, who took office on September 14th, 2017, for a six-year term. The next presidential election will be held in August 2023 at the latest.
[Profile] Tropical city country. It is located at the southern end of the Malay Peninsula, at the entrance to the Straits of Malacca, separated from Malaysia in the north by the Johor Strait. The Singapore Strait borders the south. It consists of Singapore Island and 63 small islands nearby, of which Singapore Island accounts for 88.5% of the country’s total area. The terrain is low, with an average elevation of 15 meters, a maximum elevation of 163 meters and a coastline of 193 kilometers. It has a tropical maritime climate with high temperature, humidity and rainfall all year round. The annual average temperature is 24°C – 32°C, the daily average temperature is 26.8°C. The annual average precipitation is 2,345 mm, and the annual average humidity is 84.3%.
It is known as Temasek in the past. It was part of the Buddhist Srivijaya Empire, in the 8th century. In the 18th to 19th centuries, it was part of the Malay Johor Sultanate. In 1819, the British Stanford Raffles arrived in Singapore and contracted with the Sultan of Johor to start a new trading post. In 1824, Singapore became a British colony; becoming a re-export trading post in the far east, and a major military base in Southeast Asia. Singapore was occupied by Japan in 1942. After Japan surrendered in 1945, Britain resumed colonial rule and classified Singapore as a direct colony in the following year. In 1959, Singapore became self-governing and became an autonomous state. Britain retains its powers of national defense, diplomacy, constitution modification, and declaration of state of emergency. On September 16th, 1963, Singapore formed the Malaysian Federation with Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak. On August 9th, 1965, Singapore left Malaysia and established the Republic of Singapore. In September of the same year, it became a member of the United Nations and joined the Commonwealth in October.
[Politics] Since independence, the People’s Action Party (PAP) has been in power for a long time, with outstanding political achievements and stable status. All previous general elections have achieved overwhelming advantages. Lee Kuan Yew served as Prime Minister for a long time since independence in 1965. In 1990, he handed over the Prime Minister position to Goh Chok Tong. In 1993, the first presidential national election was held after independence. The former Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary General of the Singapore Workers’ Federation, Ong Teng Cheong, was elected as the first president. In August 2004, Lee Hsien Loong succeeded Goh Chok Tong as Prime Minister and was re-elected in May 2006, May 2011 and September 2015. The 7th president,Tony Tan, was elected in August 2011 and took office in September. In March 2015, Lee Kuan Yew passed away.
[Constitution] In September 1963, after Singapore was incorporated into Malaysia, the state constitution was promulgated. In December 1965, the state constitution was amended to become the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore, and some provisions of the Malaysian Constitution were applied to Singapore.
[Congress] Implements a one-chamber system for a five-year term. Congress can be disbanded in advance, and the election must be held within three months of the dissolution of the parliament. Singapore citizens, who are 21 years of age or older, have voting rights. Members of Parliament are divided into elected members, non-elected members, and government members. The current parliament was elected on September 11th, 2015. There are 89 elected members, including 83 People’s Action Parties representatives and 6 Workers’ Parties representatives.
[Government] The current cabinet was formed on September 28th, 2015 and reorganized in October 2016. The main members are: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister-in-charge of the Civil Service Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policy Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Defense Ng Eng Hen, and Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan.
[Judiciary] The Supreme Court and the General Prosecutor’s Office. The Supreme Court consists of the High Court and the Court of Appeal. In 1994, the appeal was revoked to the British Privy Council and the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court was determined to be the Court of Final Appeal. The Supreme Court Justice is recommended by the Prime Minister and appointed by the President.
[Party] There are 24 registered political parties. The dominant parties are as follows:
(1) The People’s Action Party (PAP): The ruling party. The party was initiated by Lee Kuan Yew and others in November 1954. The Party’s program is to maintain racial harmony and establish a sense of national identity; to establish a sound democratic system, to ensure that Congress has multi-ethnic representatives, and to work towards a multiracial, multicultural and pluralistic society. The PAP has maintained its status as a ruling party since 1959.
(2) The Worker’s Party: Founded in November 1957. A peaceful, non-violent parliamentary party. In 1971, the leadership was re-established, and the employment system was abolished. The domestic law on public security was amended, and freedom of speech and association was restored. The impact has expanded in recent years. Since 1981, this party has won several seats in the general election. In the 2015 general election, the party won 6 seats.
[Economy] is a foreign trade-driven economy. It is mainly based on electronics, petrochemicals, finance, shipping, and service industries. It is highly dependent on the US, Japan, Europe and surrounding markets. The total foreign trade is four times that of the GDP. The economy has experienced rapid growth for a long time, with an average annual GDP growth of 9% between 1960 and 1984. In 1997, it was slightly hit by the Asian financial crisis. In 2001, affected by the global economic slowdown, the economy experienced a 2% negative growth, which was the most serious recession after independence. In order to stimulate economic development, the government proposed to build a “new Singapore”, strive to transform and set up an economic restructuring committee, comprehensively review economic development policies, and actively negotiate free trade agreements with major world economies. The specific economic data for 2015 are as follows:
Gross domestic product: $292.7 billion.
Per capita GDP: 53,000 US dollars.
GDP growth rate: 2%.
Currency: Singapore dollar.
Exchange rate against the US dollar (average in 2015): 1 US dollar ≈ 1.3748 Singapore dollars.
Inflation rate: -0.5%.
Unemployment rate: 2%.
[Resources] Natural resources are scarce.
[Industry] Mainly includes manufacturing and construction. In 2015, the output value was S$98 billion, accounting for 25% of GDP. Manufacturing products mainly include electronics, chemistry and chemical engineering, biomedicine, precision machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, oil refining and other products. Singapore is the third largest refining center in the world.
[Agriculture] The land used for agricultural production accounts for about 1% of the total land area, and the output value accounts for less than 0.1% of the national economy. It is mainly composed of horticultural planting, poultry breeding, aquaculture and vegetable planting. Most of the food and vegetables are imported from Malaysia, China, Indonesia and Australia.
[Service industry] including retail and wholesale trade, hotel tourism, transportation and telecommunications, financial services, business services, etc., is the leader of economic growth. In 2015, the output value was S$261.95 billion, accounting for 70.4% of GDP.
[Tourism] One of the main sources of foreign exchange is tourism. Visitors mainly come from ASEAN countries, China, Australia, India and Japan. In 2015, it received 15.227 million foreign tourists (excluding Malay citizens who landed on land), and the hotel housing rate was 85%. The main attractions are: Sentosa Island, Botanical Garden and Night Safari of Singapore.
[Transportation] The transportation is developed and the facilities are convenient. It is an important entrepot in the world and an aviation center connecting Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania.
Railway: It is mainly based on the subway and has 65 stations with a total length of 109.4 kilometers. There is also a light rail railway with a total length of 28.8 kilometers and 31 stations, which are connected to the subway.
Highway: The total length is about 3,297 kilometers, including 153 kilometers of expressways and 613 kilometers of first-class highways.
Water transport: one of the world’s busiest ports and one of Asia’s major transit hubs, the world’s largest fuel supply port. There are more than 200 routes connecting more than 600 ports in the world. In 2015, the port handled a total of 575 million tons of freight, with a total container throughput of 30.92 million cases.
Air freight: There are mainly Singapore Airlines and its subsidiary SilkAir. Singapore Changi Airport has been rated as the world’s best airport for many years. It has opened routes to 188 cities in 60 countries. 81 airlines in each country provide an average of 4,400 scheduled weekly flight services. In 2015, the number of flights was 341,000, the passenger volume was 54.83 million, and the cargo volume was 2,216,300 tons.
[Finance] The following is the financial revenue and expenditure (unit: billion Singapore dollars):
As of December 2015, foreign exchange reserves were S$421.3 billion. No external debt.
[Foreign Trade] is an important pillar of the national economy. The foreign trade situation in recent years is as follows (unit: billion Singapore dollars):
The main export commodities are: refined oil (24%), electronic components (22%), chemicals (10%) and industrial machinery (2%); the main imported goods are: refined oil (22%), electronic components (accounting for 17%), crude oil (10%), chemicals (excluding plastics) (6%) and power generation equipment (3%). Imported electronic vacuum tubes, crude oil, processed petroleum products, office and data processor parts, etc. The main trading partners are: China, Malaysia, the European Union, the United States, and Indonesia.
[Foreign Investment] Promote a “regionalized economic development strategy” and vigorously invest overseas. From 2002 to the end of 2012, foreign direct investment totaled 462.71 billion Singapore dollars, mainly concentrated in the financial services industry and manufacturing. The main direct investment countries are China, the United Kingdom, and Malaysia.
[Famous company] Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd. is one of the most famous state-owned holding companies in the world. Founded in 1974, it is wholly owned by the Ministry of Finance and directly responsible to the Minister for Finance. It has more than 1,000 government-related enterprises with total assets of nearly 130 billion Singapore dollars, involving transportation, ship repair and engineering, electricity and natural gas, communications, media, financial services, real estate and hotels, real estate management and consulting, construction, leisure and entertainment industries, etc. In recent years, Temasek has accelerated its privatization, and 10 large groups have been listed among its subsidiaries. At present, the company holds 100% shares of only four subsidiaries, while holding less than 50% shares of most of the other companies. The chairman of the company is now Lim Boon Heng, with Executive Director Ho Ching.
[Citizens’ Lives] In 2015, the per capita GDP was 53,000 US dollars. The government unified the construction of public housing units. The residential housing ownership rate reached 88.6%. The average life expectancy is 82 years old, the literacy rate is 96.1% (over 15 years old), there are 18 doctors per 10,000 people, and there are 110 private cars per thousand people.
[Culture] While preserving the traditional culture of each ethnic group, it encourages the unification of national culture into Singapore.
[Education] Singapore’s education system emphasizes bilingualism, physical education, and moral education. Both innovation and independent thinking are equally important. The bilingual policy requires students to have a native language in addition to learning English. The Government promotes “information technology education” to encourage students to master computer knowledge. The vast majority of schools are public, including 170 primary schools, 154 secondary schools, 14 junior colleges, and four universities: the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, the University of Management, and the University of Science and Technology.
[External Relations] Based on ASEAN, it is committed to safeguarding ASEAN’s unity and cooperation and promoting ASEAN’s greater role in regional affairs. In Asia, Singapore focuses on developing cooperation with Asian countries, especially China, Japan, South Korea, India and other countries; “Big country balance” advocates establishing a strategic balance pattern between the United States, China, Japan and India in the Asia-Pacific region; highlighting economic diplomacy and actively promoting trade and investment liberalization, and has established cooperation with New Zealand, Japan, European Free Trade Association, Australia, the United States, Jordan, South Korea, India and Panama; signed a bilateral free trade agreement, signed the first free trade agreement with New Zealand, Chile and Brunei across three continents, and reached a consensus on the signing of bilateral free trade agreements with Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. It has initiated the establishment of an inter-continental cooperation mechanism such as the Asia-Europe Meeting and the East Asia-Latin America Forum. Actively promote the signing of the Inter-State Anti-Piracy Cooperation Agreement (ReCAAP) in Asia. The Information Sharing Center established under the agreement was formally established in November 2006. A total of 175 countries have established diplomatic relations.