Singapore, an island city-state in Southeast Asia, is home to 5.6 million residents, 39% of whom are foreign nationals, including permanent residents.
The Singaporean government estimates more than 4,200 U.S. firms, large and small have established operations in the City State.
In 2017, Singapore maintained its position as the United States’ 13th largest export market and advanced one rung to 18th largest trading partner. U.S. goods exports to Singapore were $29.8 billion, up 11.3 percent ($3.0 billion) in 2016, reflecting the sixth largest goods trade surplus of US$10.4 billion. Singapore is an important partner of the United States with a bilateral, gold standard, Free Trade Agreement implemented in 2004, the first the US signed in Asia. The U.S. is Singapore’s third largest source of imports behind China and Malaysia.
Singapore is a free port as more than 99% of all imports enter Singapore duty-free. For social and/or environmental reasons, it levies high excise taxes on distilled spirits and wine, tobacco products, motor vehicles, and gasoline.
Price, quality, and service are the three main factors for Singapore buyers. U.S. exporters should be aware that competition is strong and buyers expect good after-sales service. Selling techniques vary according to the industry and product and are comparable to the techniques used in most other sophisticated markets.
MISCELLANEOUS INVESTMENT FACTS
The World Bank ranked Singapore the second easiest place to do business in the world
Major ICT, distribution, and logistics hub; as such, many consider it the gateway to the ASEAN region
Favorable tax codes
Strong intellectual property protection
English speaking population
Treaties & Agreements
The United States has a bilateral free trade agreement with Singapore, which entered into force in 2004. Since that time, bilateral trade has increased 62%, reaching $45 billion in goods trade in 2016. The United States is Singapore's largest foreign investor, with U.S. investment stock totaling $228 billion in 2016. Singapore is a visa waiver program country, which allows its nationals to travel to the United States for certain business or tourism purposes for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.
Singapore and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, ASEAN Regional Forum, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.