Singapore Business and Market Overview


Singapore’s GDP in 2004 is US$ 25,207 which makes them one of the leading economy in Southeast Asian countries. Although the country is insufficient of natural resources still it withstands the challenge and in fact it has been known as the center for regional business transactions for international trade, shipment and air transportation. The country has been chosen by several huge companies owned by American, European and Japanese as their business regional office.

Singapore’s GDP grew at an average of 2.7% annually from 2000 to 2004 to reach US$ 106.9 billion by 2004 while inflation remaining below 2.0%. Even if Singapore is perceived to have an economy that is much ahead among the Southeast Asian countries, unemployment increased from 1.8% during the Asian economic crisis of 1997 to 5.3% in 2004. As a business strategy for expansion and further development, the government of Singapore turn into a center for commerce and modern technology.

The data shows that the service sector comprised 66.2% of Singapore’s GDP in 2004 on the other hand, the manufacturing sector comprised 33.7%. On the other hand, agriculture only contributed a minimal percentage of .01% of the country’s GDP. Major industries in Singapore include electronics, chemicals, financial services, petroleum refining, food processing, ship repair, offshore platform construction, biotechnology and entrepot trade.

DEMOGRAPHY. In 2004, the population in Singapore is 4.2 million and most of which is Chinese comprising for 77% of the population. There are also other ethnic communities like Malays(14%) and Indians (8%). Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam are the pre-eminent religions being practiced. Generally, the Chinese are agnostic, Buddhist, Tao or follow the Christian faith on the other hand Malays are mostly Muslims and most of the Indians are Hindus, Christian or Muslims. Main languages used are English (widely spoken and used in business and by the government), Chinese (mainly Mandarin and Hokkien), Malay and Tamil.

Singapore is a city-state and therefore nearly all its population live in an urban community. Majority of the Singaporeans live in a high-rise accommodation or flats accounting for nearly 90% of the households and only 10% live on landed property.

The consumers in Singapore is known to have the highest level of disposable income. High-income households account for nearly 27% of the total households while middle-income households account for 32%. While low-income households like those who earned less than US$ 1,900 per month is 41% of the total households.

INFRASTRUCTURE. Domestic and international telecommunication services are excellent and one of the best in the region. It is using a state of the art technology in internet broadband service. The road system in Singapore is administered expeditiously and the city-state is properly assisted by a public transport system. Singapore has efficiently managed seaports and airport which are used as regional hubs by many sea and air carriers.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE. Singapore is considered as one of the busiest ports in the world.Singapore is currently connected to countries like Malaysia, Thailand, US, Hong Kong , Taiwan and Korea.Most of the products that are imported and exported to Malaysia and Indonesia are exported also from other countries.Some of the largest exports from Singapore are electrical and electronic products, machineries and equipments.Imports include machineries and equipments, mineral fuels, chemicals and foods.

CONSUMER USAGE OF TECHNOLOGY. More than 90% of all homes have mobile phones putting the country on par with Sweden, Norway, Austria and Norway. Each home is composed of at least fixed line telephone, television and refrigerator.It is known that almost 70% of the houses in Singapore do have a computer and in the population of 4.5 million nearly 2.5 million of them is using the internet.Furthermore, there are more than 2.5 million credit cards in the county and online payments are well established.However, only 35% of all homes own a car due to the extremely high cost to own a car in Singapore.

RETAIL MARKET.Singapore follows Japan in the list of world’s highest standard of living. US$ 11 billion was the estimated retails sales of Singapore in 2004.Not like the other countries in Asia retail still comes first before industry by sales value.It includes shopping malls, hypermarkets, supermarkets, department stores, convenience stores.People from South and Northeast Asia keeps on visiting Singapore because of the international retailers and brands located there.Many shopping malls have also sprouted in the suburban areas existing side-by-side with the “mom and pop” establishments.

FOOD CULTURE. Because of the various nationalities present in Singapore the food culture has also been influenced. In addition, the prevalent food service establishment in Singaporeans are western and Japanese comprising mostly of fast food outlets. Usually, Singaporeans prefer to eat out than to prepare the food at home. Statistics shows that most of the Singaporeans used up only 9% of their income on foods for preparing food at home and 12% for eating out.