Singapore - Country Commercial Guide
Market Overview

Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, and other issues that affect trade.

Last published date: 2022-08-11

Singapore 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 2021, the city-state was the United States’ 12th largest export market importing US$35.3 billion worth of goods.  The U.S. was Singapore’s fourth largest source of imports, after China, Malaysia and Taiwan. The other major suppliers were South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, and Thailand. 

Singapore has one of the highest levels of GDP per head in Asia (US$67,000). Its economy depends largely on transshipment and its status as a business hub, and although electronics remains the most important manufacturing sector, Singapore has become the primary choice for regional headquarters among technology firms, and sectors such as financial technology (fintech) have flourished.

In 2021, Singapore’s real GDP grew by 6.0% during the initial recovery phase following the Covid-19 pandemic. The Government’s commitment for Covid-19 support across five budgets revisions in 2020 allocated significant resources to long-term investments in infrastructure, upskilling its workforce, and digitalization in order to remain a global hub for business, research and innovation, trade, and finance. As a result of Singapore’s unprecedented stimulus spending and recovery initiatives, the economic growth was resilient; however, near-term GDP growth is expected to return to the more typical 2.5% - 3% range for the coming years, as further budget subsidies are unlikely.

U.S. companies should consider exporting to Singapore for the following reasons:

  • Major distribution, logistics and financial hub; as such, many consider it the gateway to the Southeast Asian region
  • Transparency and lack of corruption
  • Business-friendly laws and regulations
  • Strong intellectual property protection
  • English speaking population