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Country Profiles FMCG
With more than 1,000 insight-rich pages covering 81
countries and territories, Country Profiles offer
current and comprehensive business information, from
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conditions Make them part of your smart trade
languages: English, Malay,
President: S R Nathan
Republic of Singapore
Religions: Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism
Singapore Agriculture :
including fishery, is an insignificant part of
Singapore's economy, accounting for just 0.2
percent of GDP and employing 0.2 percent of the
workforce. Since the 19th century Singapore has
been fully reliant on the import of foodstuffs,
obtained from its neighbors. The country has a
small fishing industry consisting of a small
fleet and marine fish farms. There has been some
interest in the greenhouse production of certain
fruits and vegetables for domestic consumption,
but it has not developed and remains small.
Singapore does cultivate orchids for domestic
and export markets.
In the late 1990s, Singapore businessmen
expressed interest in biotechnology and
genetically modified food production. The public
outcry in Europe and the United States over
genetically modified food has cooled this
interest for the time being. Some private
entrepreneurs invested in the agricultural
sector in neighboring Malaysia and Thailand,
aiming to export the products back to Singapore.
Singapore is south-east Asia's hi-tech, wealthy city-state which is also known for the conservatism of its leaders and its strict social controls.
The country comprises the main island - linked by a causeway and a bridge to the southern tip of Malaysia - and around 50 smaller islands.
Once a colonial outpost of Britain, Singapore has become one of the world's most prosperous places - with glittering skyscrapers and a thriving port.
Most of its people live in public-housing tower blocks. They enjoy one of the world's highest standards of living, but also a system of punishments for acts deemed to be anti-social.
Britain's Sir Stamford Raffles saw Singapore's commercial potential
Government-led initiatives have encouraged Singaporeans to have more babies and to be more courteous. Citizens are urged to "Speak Good English" in place of a local slang known as "Singlish".
Chinese make up more than 75% of the community; Malays and Indians make up much of the remainder. There are many foreign workers.
Although Singapore is a multi-party nation, the People's Action Party (PAP) has been the dominant force since independence. Rights groups have accused some politicians of using defamation suits to silence their opponents.
Singapore is often referred to as one of Asia's economic "tigers". Its economy is driven by electronics manufacturing and financial services and has weathered regional crises, including the 1997 Asian markets slump and the 2003 Sars virus outbreak.
In the face of strong competition from regional manufacturers, Singapore is seeking to strengthen its services sector and tourism industry.
The country was referred to - less kindly - by the writer William Gibson as "Disneyland with the death penalty".
Singapore argues that its use of capital punishment - applied mostly for drugs trafficking offences - has stopped the growth of narcotics syndicates.
Singapore's media environment is highly regulated. Censorship is common, internet access is regulated and private ownership of satellite dishes is not allowed.
Government officials have a record of winning defamation suits against foreign publications. Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders says the press is "in the grip of a rigorous self-censorship" over its coverage of domestic politics.
Two players dominate the media scene. Singapore Press Holdings, which has close links to the ruling party, has a virtual monopoly of the newspaper industry. MediaCorp, owned by a state investment agency, operates TV and radio stations.
The two companies merged their free newspaper and TV operations at the start of 2005.
Political debate has found an outlet on the internet; however, those who post political material are expected to register with the authorities.
Singapore is a regional pioneer of high-definition and mobile TV services. The government's multi-million dollar "Media 21" blueprint aims to turn the country into a regional hub for the digital media industry and to create thousands of new jobs in the sector.
The BBC World Service is available via an FM relay.