Back

Country Reports

Singapore Country Report

Content provided by
IHS Markit Logo

Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

GDP growth in Singapore is expected weaken to 0.5% in 2019 as the China-US trade conflict undermines electronics and precision engineering exports as well as Singapore's transshipment business. IHS Markit projects a bleak outlook for the manufacturing sector. If the third quarter turns out disappointing – a scenario that IHS Markit is not ruling out given the lingering, perilous trade war – it would push the manufacturing sector into a technical recession. 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 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: November 16, 2019

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 means that mode of attack is unlikely.

Last update: November 2, 2019

Crime

Latest Singapore Police Force data show overall reported crime increased by 1.4% in 2018 from all-time low levels in 2017; the crime rate accordingly increased to 588 per 100,000 people. The increase was mainly attributable to a small surge in internet-based crime (e-commerce and sex scams). However, theft and related crime decreased by 8.6%. 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: November 2, 2019

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. Relations with Malaysia, however, have deteriorated since 2018, with a territorial dispute over waters off Tuas re-emerging between the two countries. Although military conflict is unlikely, there is an elevated risk of Malaysian and Singaporean coastguards seizing commercial shipping accused of incursions into disputed waters.

Last update: November 2, 2019

Social Stability

Low

Demonstrations over controversial government policies tend to be organised as peaceful rallies held at locations designated by the authorities. However, these are unlikely to be violent or disruptive. The last 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: November 2, 2019

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