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Introduction: Singapore was founded as a British trading colony in 1819. It joined the Malaysian Federation in 1963 but separated two years later and became independent. Singapore subsequently became one of the world's most prosperous countries with strong international trading links (its port is one of the world's busiest in terms of tonnage handled) and with per capita GDP equal to that of the leading nations of Western...

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Economic Overview: Singapore is an important hub for the South-East Asian region. It has traditionally had a dynamic economy, with strong service and manufacturing sectors, and one of the highest per capita gross domestic products (GDP) in the world. Its airport, port and road systems are among the best in the world. Singapore's economy has always depended on international trade. Its major industries include electronics, financial services, oil drilling equipment, petroleum refining, pharmaceutical manufacturing, processed food and beverages, rubber products and ship repair. In recent years, the Government has moved to reduce reliance on the manufacture and ...

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History: Although Singapore's history dates from the 11th century, the island was little known to the West until the 19th century, when in 1819, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles arrived as an agent of the British East India Company. In 1824, the British purchased Singapore Island, and by 1825, the city of Singapore had become a major port, with trade exceeding that of Malaya's Malacca and Penang combined. In ...

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International Relations: Singapore’s foreign policy has been designed to ensure a regional balance. Singapore was a founder member of ASEAN in 1967 and has worked hard to maintain good relations with regional neighbours. It hosted the thirteenth ASEAN summit in November 2007 as ASEAN Chair. Relations with China have intensified following the opening of diplomatic relations in 1990.

Singapore's Relations with the International Community

Singapore is an active player on the world international stage through its membership of the UN, the Commonwealth, ASEAN, APEC, the WTO and the NAM. Singapore served for the first time on the ...

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Located astride the sea routes between China and India, from ancient times the Malay Archipelago served as an entrepôt, supply point, and rendezvous for the sea traders of the kingdoms and empires of the Asian mainland and the Indian subcontinent. The trade winds of the South China Sea brought Chinese junks laden with silks, damasks, porcelain, pottery, and iron to seaports that flourished on ...

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Area Handbook Series
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