Capital city: Singapore
Currency: Singapore dollar (SGD)
Language: English, Malay, Tamil, and Mandarin
GDP: $308 billion
Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign city-state in Southeast Asia and the world’s only island city-state. It lies one degree north of the equator, south of the southernmost tip of continental Asia and peninsular Malaysia, with Indonesia’s Riau Islands to the south. Singapore’s territory consists of a diamond-shaped main island along with 62 other islets.
Singapore is home to a variety of cultures from different parts of the world and offers a lifestyle that mixes quality with diversity. Voted among the top 20 cities in the world for excellent living conditions it will spoil you with choices for shopping, eating out, and entertainment. It is ranked highly in education, healthcare, life expectancy, quality of life, personal safety, and housing.
In 1299, according to the Malay Annals, the Kingdom of Singapura was established on the island as a trading port city. In 1819, Stamford Raffles founded colonial Singapore as a trading post of the East India Company. After the establishment of the British Raj the islands were ceded to Britain and became part of its Straits Settlements in 1826. The founding father of modern Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew declared the formation of the Federation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963 in Singapore.
Singapore is a global commerce, finance and transport hub. Its standings include: the most “technology-ready” nation (WEF), top International-meetings city (UIA), city with “best investment potential” (BERI), 2nd-most competitive country, 3rd-largest foreign exchange market, 3rd-largest financial centre, 3rd-largest oil refining and trading centre; and the second busiest container port.
Singapore is an increasingly popular tax haven for the wealthy due to the low tax rate on personal income and tax exemptions on foreign-based income and capital gains. Australian millionaire retailer Brett Blundy (2013) and multi-billionaire Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin (2012) are two examples of wealthy individuals who have settled in Singapore.
"You’d be stupid not to try to cut your tax bill and those that don’t are stupid in business"
- Bono: U2