Singapore - Market OverviewSingapore - Market Overview
Singapore maintains an open, trade-dependent economy, characterized by an accessible investment regime, with strong government commitment to maintaining a free market and actively managing Singapore's economic development. The country is an important partner of the United States with a bilateral, gold standard, Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed in 2003 and implemented January 1, 2004 - the first U.S. FTA signed in Asia. In 2018, the City State was the United States’ 12th largest export market importing $33.1 billion worth of goods, up 11.2% from 2017. Singapore was also the United States’ 16th largest goods trading partner. The U.S. ran its 8th largest goods trade surplus of $5.9 billion with Singapore in 2018. The City State was the 9th largest source of FDI in the United States and the fourth fastest growing source of FDI amounting to $88.6 billion.
In 2018, the Singapore economy expanded by 3.2% and the government forecasts GDP to grow between 1.5% to 2.5% in 2019. The U.S. remained Singapore’s third largest source of imports, while China and Malaysia retained their first and second position respectively, followed by Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, France and Switzerland.
The World Bank ranked Singapore the second easiest place to do business in the world in 2018 and Swiss business school IMD ranked Singapore as the world’s most competitive economy. U.S. companies should consider exporting to Singapore for the following reasons:
- Major ICT, distribution, and logistics hub; as such, many consider it the gateway to the ASEAN region
- Lack of corruption
- Favorable tax codes
- Strong intellectual property protection
- English speaking population