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: 2021-08-16

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 2020, the city-state was the United States’ 14th largest export market importing US$27.1 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 Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, France, Thailand, and Germany. 

In 2020, Singapore’s real GDP contracted by an unprecedented 5.4% amid the global Covid-19 pandemic. The Government committed Covid-19 support across five budgets revisions last year to save and create jobs, 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. Reflecting the effectiveness of Singapore’s unprecedented stimulus spending and recovery initiatives, the economy is expected to grow between 4% - 6% in 2021.   

The World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report ranked Singapore second overall in “ease of doing business,” while the World Economic Forum ranked Singapore as the most competitive economy globally.

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