Singapore header

Basic Information


Capital: Singapore

Surface Area: 716 sq km

Head of State: President Tony Tan Keng Yam

Head of Government: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

Official Language: English, Malay, Mandarin, Tamil

Currency: Singaporean Dollar (SGD)

Population: 5,399,200 (2013)



Singapore’s economic growth in 2013 was 3.9% and GDP reached US$297.94 billion. Out of the ten ASEAN countries, Singapore has by far the highest GDP per capita of US$55,182. Due to its high level of integration with the world economy, the city state was severely hit by the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, with an economic contraction of 0.6% in 2009. A strong rebound in 2010 saw a record high growth of 15.2%, partly due to strong growth in the manufacturing sector. Growth slowed in the following years and was a mere 3.9% in 2013.

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Singapore’s GDP and GDP growth 2007-2013

GDP table sp

Source: World Bank

GDP components

Private consumption accounted for about 38% of GDP in 2013, while investment accounted for 29% of GDP. Singapore had a positive trade balance, which provided for 23% of its GDP. Government consumption constituted about 10% of GDP.

GDP Components sp

Source: The World Bank

GDP Composition

As a nation without natural resources to drive development, Singapore’s economy was grown on a platform of value-added manufacturing by skilled labour, wholesale & retail trade through its ports, and the provision of financial services. Services are Singapore’s largest sector by far, making up 75% of GDP in 2013, while manufacturing accounted for 19% and other industries 6%.

GDP composition sp

Source: The World Bank





Singapore’s currency is the Singapore Dollar (SDG). The exchange rate has been relatively stable the past year, with only about 3% difference between the highest and lowest value. The average bid rate for the first three quarters of 2014 was 1.27013 SGD per USD, and the average ask rate was 1.27083 SGD per USD.

Official Exchange Rate

SGD per USD – 1 year

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The Singapore dollar appreciated significantly from mid-2010 to mid-2011, which led to less favourable terms of trade as Singapore is an export driven nation.

Official Exchange Rate

SGD per USD – 5 year

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Source: OANDA


Trade in service


Intra- and extra-ASEAN trade in 2013

Singapore’s total foreign trade reached US$783.27 billion in 2013, more than double the country’s GDP in that year. Foreign trade included US$373.02 billion in imports and US$410.25 billion in exports. Intra-ASEAN trade reached US$206.68 billion in 2013, accounting for 26.4% of total trade. Intra-ASEAN exports accounted for 31.4% of total exports and the share of intra-ASEAN imports of total imports was 20.9%.

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Singapore’s intra- and extra- ASEAN exports and imports, 2013

trade table sp

Source: ASEAN Secretariat


Trade partners

Almost a third, or 31.4% of Singapore’s total exports in 2013 was destined for ASEAN countries. Malaysia is Singapore’s top export destination and received 12.2% of Singapore’s total exports that year, while Indonesia received 9.9% and the rest of ASEAN 9.3%. Hong Kong and mainland China received 11.8% and 11.2%, respectively. The EU imported 7.8% of Singapore’s total exports in 2013 , while the rest of the world received the remaining 45.6% of exports.

The largest part of Singapore’s imports in 2013 also came from ASEAN, with almost 21% of total imports, of which 10.4% were from Malaysia. The EU was the source of 12.6% of imports, China 10.6%, the US 10.3%, and Chinese Taipei 10.2%.  About 35.4% of Singapore’s imports in 2013 were from the rest of the world.

Sing expimp

Source: The World Trade Organisation


Commodity groups

About 18.6% of Singapore’s exports in 2013 were fuels and mining products, while the commodity group accounted for 32.9% of total imports. Although Singapore is highly reliant on agricultural imports, it only accounts for 3.8% of total imports, explained by huge trade volume. The largest part of Singapore’s trade is in manufactured goods, with about 70.3% of Singapore’s goods exports and 61.2% of goods imports in 2013.

Sing comm

Source: The World Trade Organisation

Intra- and extra-ASEAN trade 2005-2013

Singapore’s trade with the world was severely affected by the global financial crisis and decreased to US$515.62 billion in 2009 from US$657.96 the year before. The rebound in 2010 was partially thanks to an increase in intra-ASEAN trade, which accounted for 32% of total trade in 2010, compared with 27% in 2009.

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Intra-, extra- and total trade 2005-2013 (US$ billions)

trade 2005-2013 table sp

Source: ASEANstats

Trade in services 2005-2011

Singapore’s service industry has shown healthy growth which has been steadily driven by increases in business management and transport services, as well as payments for intellectual property. Total services trade in 2012 was US$229.68 billion, which was almost a 10% decrease from the year before, mainly due to decreased export of services which fell by 16.3%.

Trade in services sp

Trade in services 2005-2012 (US$ billions)

trade in services table sp


Source: ASEAN Statistics




The inflow of foreign direct investment plummeted by almost 75% in 2008 due to the financial crisis. FDI inflow recovered in 2010 and has been on an upward trajectory since, reaching a record level of US$60.64 billion in 2013.

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FDI net inflows 2005-2013 (US$ billions)

FDI table sp

Source: Worldbank

The largest part of Singapore’s FDI inflows is from countries outside of ASEAN. In 2013, intra-ASEAN investment reached US$5.71 billion, accounting for 9.4% of total FDI inflow. Extra-ASEAN investment reached US$54.94 billion, accounting for over 90% of total FDI inflow in 2013.

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FDI net inflow, intra- and extra-ASEAN, 2011-2013 (US$ millions)

trade 2005-2013 table sp

Source: ASEAN Secretariat