Macro-economic trend

This is a chart of trend of gross domestic product of Singapore at market prices estimated by the International Monetary Fund.

Year Gross Domestic Product
($ millions)
US Dollar Exchange Nominal Per Capita GDP
(as % of USA)
PPP Per Capita GDP
(as % of USA)
1980 25,117 2.14 Singapore Dollars 39.65 55.00
1985 39,036 2.20 Singapore Dollars 36.63 63.41
1990 66,778 1.81 Singapore Dollars 52.09 74.76
1995 119,470 1.41 Singapore Dollars 86.14 90.60
2000 159,840 1.72 Singapore Dollars 66.19 91.48
2005 194,360 1.64 Singapore Dollars 67.54 103.03
2007 224,412 1.42 Singapore Dollars 74.61 107.92
2008 235,632 1.37 Singapore Dollars 73.71 107.27
2009 268,900 1.50 Singapore Dollars 78.53 108.33
2010 309,400 1.32 Singapore Dollars 82.13 119.54

The government promotes high levels of savings and investment through a mandatory retirement savings scheme known as the Central Provident Fund, and large portions of its budget are expended in education and technology, with the former having a current rate as of 21% in 2001 compared to spending in the United States of 4%. However, the figures may be misleading as the majority of US education funding comes from the state level, not federal. It also owns Temasek-linked companies (TLCs, companies that are linked to the government's investment arm) - particularly in manufacturing - that operate as commercial entities and account for 60% of GDP. As Singapore looks to a future increasingly marked by globalization, the country is positioning itself as the region's financial and high-tech centre in competition with other East Asian cities.
Singapore's strategic location on major sea lanes and industrious population have given the country an economic importance in South-east Asia disproportionate to its small size. Upon separation from Malaysia in 1965, Singapore was faced with a lack of physical resources and a small domestic market. In response, the Singapore Government adopted a pro-business, pro-foreign investment, export-oriented economic policy combined with state-directed investments in strategic government-owned corporations. Whilst nominally socialist in the 1960s,[citation needed] the ruling party increasingly became openly capitalist but self-described itself as 'pragmatic', described by some[who?] as a euphemism for capitalism with authoritarian social controls.[citation needed] Singapore's government moved towards guiding the economy and investing in medicine and infrastructure.
Singapore's economic strategy produced real growth averaging 8.0% from 1960 to 1999. The economy picked up in 1999 after the regional financial crisis, with a growth rate of 5.4%, followed by 9.9% for 2000. However, the economic slowdown in the United States, Japan and the European Union, as well as the worldwide electronics slump, had reduced the estimated economic growth in 2001 to a negative 2.0%. The economy expanded by 2.2% the following year, and by 1.1% in 2003 when Singapore was affected by the SARS outbreak. Subsequently, a major turnaround occurred in 2004 allowed it to make a significant recovery of 8.3% growth in Singapore, although the actual growth fell short of the target growth for the year more than half with only 2.5%. In 2005, economic growth was 6.4%; and in 2006, 7.9%.
Singapore's largely corruption-free government, skilled workforce, and advanced and efficient infrastructure have attracted investments from more than 3,000 multinational corporations (MNCs) from the United States, Japan, and Europe. Foreign firms are found in almost all sectors of the economy. MNCs account for more than two thirds of manufacturing output and direct export sales, although certain services sectors remain dominated by government-linked corporations.
Manufacturing and financial business services accounted for 26% and 22%, respectively, of Singapore's gross domestic product in 2000. The electronics industry leads Singapore's manufacturing sector, accounting for 48% of total industrial output, but the government also is prioritising development of the chemicals and biotechnology industries.
To maintain its competitive position despite rising wages, the government seeks to promote higher value-added activities in the manufacturing and services sectors. It also has opened, or is in the process of opening, the financial services, telecommunications, and power generation and retailing sectors up to foreign service providers and greater competition. The government has also attempted some measures including wage restraint measures and release of unused buildings in an effort to control rising commercial rents with the view to lowering the cost of doing business in Singapore when central business district office rents tripled in 2006.

[edit] Taxation

Singapore introduced a Goods and Services Tax (GST) with an initial rate of 3% on 1 April 1994, increasing government revenue by S$1.6 billion (US$1b, €800m) and stabilising government finances.[11] The taxable GST was increased to 4% in 2003, to 5% in 2004, and to 7% in 2007.[12]


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