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Country Reports

Singapore Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

Singapore's economic growth in the third quarter of 2019 surpassed official flash estimate of 0.1% year on year (y/y), buoyed by a better-than-expected showing in industrial activity, thereby taking Singapore away from recession risk. IHS Markit projects full-year growth at 0.5% year on year (y/y) for 2019. Although there are signs of bottoming out in the manufacturing sector, the outlook remains challenging as uncertainty in mainland China-US trade relations continues to linger with flip-flops in negotiations and business confidence in general remains subdued, as the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) data continues to sink. In addition, slowdown in mainland China remains a concern.Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is likely to hand over his position to Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat, who was also appointed as deputy prime minister in May 2019, during the next parliamentary term. Heng and the People's Action Party (PAP) are likely to follow a largely stable policy platform, seeking to continue developing a technology and services-driven economy rather than a merchandise-export-led economy reliant on cheap foreign labour. A parliamentary election is likely in 2020, and the ruling PAP is well-placed to win.Government policy has been working for several years to progressively transform the economy into more of a knowledge-based economy with incentives put in place to induce extra investment into labour saving and other investments focused on developing a more knowledge-based economy. The uptake has been weak with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) lagging behind larger firms, but the government appears to be better targeting its policies for this transition to gain momentum. The 2019 budget continued to provide investment support for firms to invest in innovative/technological solutions.
Last update: March 3, 2020

Operational Outlook

The government's zero-tolerance approach to corruption and a well-recompensed civil service mean corruption risks are low. Industrial action is very rare given close co‐operation between the government and trade unions and generally good wages and working conditions. The government dealt with a 2013 riot involving migrant workers, and preventive measures against a repeat riot were introduced. There has not been any worker unrest or industrial action since. Infrastructure is of a high standard, including sophisticated telecommunications networks, extensive public transport, and high-quality air and seaport facilities.

Last update: November 29, 2019

Terrorism

Moderate

Militant attacks are unlikely in Singapore, although there is some indication that the city-state is an aspirational target for transnational jihadist groups, such as the Islamic State. If a jihadist attack were to take place in Singapore, it would probably be crude – involving bladed weaponry or vehicular ramming – because Singapore's strict control over firearms and explosives renders larger, more complex attacks unlikely.

Last update: February 8, 2020

Crime

Latest Singapore Police Force data showed overall reported crime had increased by 6.3% in 2019, reaching a nine-year high. The increase, however, was mainly attributable to a substantial surge in fraud and internet-based crime (e-commerce and sex scams). When excluding these crimes, Singapore's reported crimes decreased by 4.6%. Strict controls on firearms have virtually eliminated armed robbery incidence. There is nothing to indicate that Singapore's low crime risk environment will deteriorate in the one-year outlook.

Last update: February 8, 2020

War Risks

Singapore maintains a well-equipped military but has good relations with its neighbours and ASEAN members, rendering any type of military confrontation involving the city-state unlikely. Outstanding maritime territorial disputes with Indonesia and Malaysia are generally unlikely to disrupt commercial shipping, although there is a moderate risk of vessels being temporarily seized in disputed areas.

Last update: February 8, 2020

Social Stability

Low

Demonstrations over controversial government policies tend to be organised as peaceful rallies and held at locations designated by the authorities. However, these are unlikely to be violent or disruptive. The most recent notable bout of violent protests occurred in December 2013, when a riot broke out involving workers from South Asia in the Little India district around Race Course Road. However, that incident was likely to be isolated and further unrest involving foreign workers is unlikely.

Last update: February 8, 2020

Health Risk

Very high

Vaccinations required to enter the country

Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required for travelers over one year of age who within the previous six days have been in a country with risk of yellow fever (YFV) transmission or who have been in transit in an airport located in a country with risk of YFV transmission.

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Other Vaccinations

Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).

Japanese Encephalitis: For stays of longer than one month in a rural zone during the rainy season (for children over the age of one). The vaccine is administered in a local medical facility.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Natural Risks

Very high

The country experiences two distinct monsoon seasons each year: one from December to March (northeast monsoon season) and the other from June to September (southeast monsoon season). During these periods, torrential rain and violent winds are not rare. It should also be noted that Singapore is situated in an active seismic zone.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Transportation

Moderate

Public transit systems are reliable and extensive.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

Singapore's climate is hot and humid throughout the year with an abundance of rain from November throughout January during the northeast monsoon (torrential but brief rain showers quickly giving way to sunny skies) and from May through September during the southern monsoon (less rain but more rainy days).

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +65
Police: 999
Fire Dept.: 995
Ambulance: 995

Electricity

Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019