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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

After recording real GDP growth of 3.2% for 2018, IHS Markit expects the Singaporean economy to record slower growth in 2019. A long-expected correction in semiconductor and electronics demand and production after a stretch of sustained growth and build-up of inventories is likely next year. The trade conflict between China and the United States is also likely to impede Singaporean trade, especially considering the focus on high-technology goods by the US, thereby weighing on Singapore's 2019–20 export outlook. Despite growing concerns about over high immigration, rising living costs, and widening income gaps, the ruling PAP, which has governed Singapore since independence, is secure. Nevertheless, "fiscal sweeteners" in the 2019 Budget, including a 3.6% increase in social spending, indicate that the government is increasingly likely to hold parliamentary elections before the end of 2019, two years before they are due. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is likely to hand over his position to Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat 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. Singapore's relations with Malaysia have deteriorated since 2018, leading to disputes over maritime territory and over bilateral deals, including the 1965 water-sharing agreement. Despite the increased deployment of both sides' coastguard vessels to the disputed maritime area, military confrontation is unlikely and even accidental escalation is a low risk. At most, there is a moderate risk of Malaysian and Singaporean coastguards seizing commercial shipping accused of incurring into disputed waters off Tuas. Singapore is a potential target of regional Islamist militants. Possible targets include the ports, Changi Airport, embassies, oil refineries, and hotels. However, a successful attack is highly unlikely, given strong counter-terrorism capabilities and increased security.
Last update: March 26, 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 ultra-modern air and seaport facilities.

Last update: September 4, 2018

Terrorism

Moderate

Singapore has introduced robust counter-terrorism measures that are regularly reviewed. In mid-2016, rapid response counter-terrorism police units were created to deal with any potential terrorist threat. Singapore maintains strong intelligence co-operation with regional and international partners to help address concerns over the presence of terrorist groups in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Last update: September 4, 2018

War Risks

Singapore maintains a well-equipped military but has good relations with its neighbours and ASEAN members. Its defence is augmented by close ties with Australia and the United States. It emphasises the resolution of any disputes through diplomacy with respect for international law; this approach has resulted in the resolution of Singapore's maritime boundaries with Indonesia and Malaysia. Any future disputes, which are increasing likely with Malaysia following the election of a new government in May 2018, are also likely to be resolved through diplomacy.

Last update: September 4, 2018

Social Stability

Low

Demonstrations over controversial government policies tend to be organised as peaceful rallies held at locations designated by the authorities. The government on its part seeks to ensure an effective response to any social grievances. There were a number of incidents involving migrant workers in 2012 and 2013, the most serious being a riot involving about 300 South Asian migrant workers. The government responded firmly, not only applying criminal sanctions to the main perpetrators, but also taking steps to ensure workers' grievances were properly addressed. Since those incidents, there has not been further unrest.

Last update: September 4, 2018

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