Singapore river and city

Singapore : Economy

Singapore is a densely populated city state in South-East Asia. It sits south of the Malay Peninsula, across the Johor Straits. The country is made up of Singapore Island and about 60 much smaller islands. Most of the main island is low lying. There are low hills in the central region and large areas of swamp in the north-east.

Key facts

  • Region: Asia 
  • Population: 5.6 million (2018) 
  • Area: 720 square kilometres 
  • Capital: Singapore 
  • Joined Commonwealth: 1965, on leaving the Federation of Malaysia and becoming an independent state 
  • Commonwealth Youth Index: 11 out of 49 countries 

Secretariat support for Singapore 

Human rights 

In February 2018, the Secretariat helped Singapore learn about the relationship between human rights institutions, Members of Parliament and business leaders. 

Youth 

The Commonwealth Youth Programme helped a young person from the Singapore National Youth Council build leadership skills.  

It also worked with Singapore to build its youth work skills. 

Natural resources 

The Secretariat helped Singapore’s government learn about the development of international rules for seabed mining. It also helped Singapore prepare to negotiate with the International Seabed Authority (ISA). 

High-tech economy 

Singapore built its economy on assembling electrical items and oil refining. From the 1970s, the government invested in export- and trade-led growth. It became a world leader in electronics, pharmaceuticals and financial services.  

More recently, it has sought to encourage tourism, as well as innovation and research in high-tech sectors such as biotechnology. 

Today, Singapore’s port is one of the busiest in the world. Its strong economy and international trade have led it to become a wealthy country with a high income. 

Singapore in the Commonwealth 

Singapore has won the annual Commonwealth Essay Competition nine times since it was launched in 1983.  

Scholarships for postgraduate study in integrative sciences and engineering are awarded by Singapore to citizens of other Commonwealth countries under the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan. 

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