Since 2010, Singapore has experienced strong economic
growth. This growth is mainly a result of state-controlled
development programs aimed at special industries. The
country's gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 3.6 per
cent in 2017. GDP per capita is USD 94 100 (2017), which is
the seventh highest in the world and the highest in Asia.
The unemployment rate is 2.2 per cent (2017). Singapore
ranks number nine out of 189 countries on the UN Global
Living Index. No other ASEAN country has a higher ranking on
COUNTRYAAH, the industrial sector accounts for 24.8 per cent of the
country's GDP and employs 25.6 per cent of the working
In 1965, when Singapore was forced out of the union with
Malaysia, job creation was the primary goal. Foreign
investment was attracted to the country to build up the
industry. After reaching the goal of full employment in the
early 1970s, the focus shifted to developing a more
technologically advanced industry.
The development of the industrial sector
Singapore has developed a large industrial growth area in
Jurong on the western part of the island. Here are a large
number of factories with the production of cement and
building materials, plywood, chemicals and plastics,
machinery, ships and steel structures. Singapore is also a
leading nation in Southeast Asia for the production of oil
platforms and oil drilling equipment.
In addition, lighter industrial products such as metal
products, electronic articles, including telecommunications
equipment, as well as textiles and clothing, pharmaceutical
products, vegetable oils and more are produced. Japanese
capital is behind some of the new industries, but European
and American industries are also setting up branches and
subsidiaries in Singapore. Much of the low-tech, but
space-intensive and labor-intensive industry has moved out
either to Johor in Malaysia or to the Indonesian island of
Batam, 31 km south of Singapore.
Agriculture and fishing
Agriculture and fisheries comprise only a negligible part
(about 0.1 per cent of GDP) of the country's business and
employ 0.7 per cent of the working population.
The service industries account for 75.2 per cent of the
country's GDP and employ 73.7 per cent of the working
Since the beginning of the 1990s, there has been a focus
on the development of the service industries (trade,
finance, transport and tourism), where these industries
together with the industry will act as a "locomotive" in the
country's economic development. Singapore was early in using
modern information technology in the development of the
service industries, and today it is considered the leading
financial center in Southeast Asia. Many Norwegian companies
are established in Singapore either with offices or
Tourism has become increasingly important. In 2018,
Singapore was visited by 18.5 million foreign tourists,
compared to 11.6 million in 2010. (This does not include
foreign nationals who traveled from Malaysia to Singapore by
train, car or bus.) The largest number of tourists is from
China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia and Australia.
Singapore's exports amounted to USD 396.8 billion in
2017, while imports amounted to USD 312.1 billion. With
this, the country had a foreign trade surplus of USD 84.7
The five main export markets are: China (27.3 per cent),
Malaysia (10.8 per cent), the United States (6.6 per cent),
Indonesia (5.8 per cent) and Japan (4.7 per cent). The main
export goods are electronic products, telecommunications
equipment, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals, refined
petroleum products and food and beverages.
The five main markets for Singapore's imports are: China
(13.9 percent), Malaysia (12.0 percent), the United States
(10.7 percent), Japan (6.3 percent) and South Korea (5.0
percent). The most important import goods are machinery and
equipment, raw materials, mineral oil, food and consumables.
Transport and Communications
The development of an effective communication network has
been an important part of the economic development. With its
strategic location on the Singapore Strait and high
efficiency, Singapore has become one of the leading
transport hubs in Asia.
Changi International Airport is located in the eastern
part of Singapore, approximately 20 km from the city center.
With 62.2 million passengers (2017), Changi is the ninth
largest airport in Asia.
Singapore has the world's second largest container port
after Shanghai. Measured in value, the country has the
world's fourth largest fleet after Greece, Japan and China.
Singapore has a rail link with Malaysia, and two bridges
connect the island with Johor. A metro covers much of the
island. The total road network is 3 496 km, of which 164 km