Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign city-state and island country in Southeast Asia. It lies one degree north of the equator, at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia’s Riau Islands to the south and Peninsular Malaysia to the north.
Singapore’s territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets. Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by 23%. The country is known for its transition from third world to first world in a single generation, under the leadership of its founding father, Lee Kuan Yew.
Stamford Raffles founded colonial Singapore in 1819 as a trading post of the British East India Company. After the company’s collapse in 1858, the islands were ceded to the British Raj as a crown colony.
During the Second World War, Singapore was occupied by Japan. It gained independence from the UK in 1963 by federating with other former British territories to form Malaysia, but separated two years later over ideological differences, becoming a sovereign nation in 1965.
After early years of turbulence and despite lacking natural resources and a hinterland, the nation developed rapidly as an Asian Tiger economy, based on external trade and its workforce. Singapore is a global hub for education, entertainment, finance, healthcare, human capital, innovation, logistics, manufacturing, technology, tourism, trade, and transport.
The city ranks highly in numerous international rankings, and has been recognized as the most “technology-ready” nation (WEF), top International-meetings city (UIA), city with “best investment potential” (BERI), world’s smartest city, world’s safest country, third-most competitive country, third-largest foreign exchange market, third-largest financial centre, third-largest oil refining and trading centre, fifth-most innovative country, and the second-busiest container port.
The Economist has ranked Singapore as the most expensive city to live in, since 2013. It is identified as a tax haven. Singapore is the only country in Asia with an AAA sovereign rating from all major rating agencies, and one of 11 worldwide. Globally, the Port of Singapore and Changi Airport have held the titles of leading “Maritime Capital” and “Best Airport” respectively for consecutive years, while Singapore Airlines is the 2018 “World’s Best Airline”.
|Languages spoken||English and Mandarin|
|Currency used||Singapore Dollar|