6 things to know about Trade & Economy in Singapore

Trade always played an important role on Singapore’s growth and development. Its excellent location and deep-water harbour guided British Empire to set up Singapore as a free port in 1819.

After seceded from Malaysian Federation in 1965, as a poor country, Singapore becomes Southeast Asia’s most advanced economy.

Key market takeaways

1. Lee Kuan Yew. Politician and lawyer who was prime minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990. Graduated in law from Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, Lee Kuan Yew quickly understood the key value of the law, stability and an open market approach, with low taxes for individuals and large corporations.


2. Doing business in Singapore is easier compared to many countries. The Fraser Institute and the World Bank, ranks Singapore 2nd position worldwide, based on Economic Freedom and Ease of Doing Business , respectively.


3. Port. Singapore is the busiest port in the world in terms of shipping tonnage, with more than 130,000 vessel calls annually. It is also the world’s third-largest petrochemical refiner and operates the most technically advanced and efficient shipbuilding and ship-repair facilities in Southeast Asia.


4. Education. Singapore consistently ranks at the top of the OECD’s Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). The focus on education, with ongoing improvements like “Teach less, learn more” and “Skills Future”, places the country like a world’s class hub of education, technology, trade and finance.


5. Low taxes. Personal income taxes and corporate income taxes are low compared to other countries. Resident taxpayers pay a progressive tax on personal income, starting at 0% and ending at 22% above $320,000. The corporate income tax rate in Singapore is a flat 17%. Besides, the effective corporate tax rate can be reduced thanks to other incentives.


6. Healthcare. Singapore’s healthcare system usually ranks among the best in the world. The healthcare system is funded by the government and individuals, via their mandatory contributions to the insurance plan, knowed as the “Three M’s” insurance plan, Medisave, Medisheild, and Medifund. Actually there are 18 schemes that Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents can apply for.



ITC (intracen.org)

World Bank Open Data

Economic Development Board: Business, Innovation & Talent | EDB

DOS | SingStat Website – Foreign Direct Investment in Singapore Dashboard


Need more information about Singapore, please contact me xavireverter@exportwings.com 


Photo by Joe Green on Unsplash

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