Well over 100,000 expats are currently working in Singapore, and more than 7,000 multinational companies operate in the small island state in Southeast Asia. Singaporeans have been working hard to transform the former British colony into a prosperous independent state and a regional center of the finance, trade and high-tech industries.
The country is often described as the world´s logistic hub. It provides a stable base for international companies that want to expand into the Asian market – both cause and effect of the high numbers of foreigners in Singapore.
Singapore has a highly developed, knowledge-based economy focusing on export as well as refining imported goods. The fact that Singapore holds majority of the global market for oil refinery and equipment is little known. Tiger Balm, on the other hand, also made in Singapore, conquered the world quite a while ago.
Multinational companies play an important role in Singapore´s economy. Siemens’s production of hearing aids, for example, which satisfies 30% of global demand, is mainly done by employees working in Singapore.
A well-established network of private enterprise and government-linked companies seems to be working in favor of Singapore’s economic development. Two sovereign wealth funds, Temasek Holdings and the Government Investment Corporation, act as the investment arm of the government, holding stakes in big national and international companies.
People working in Singapore´s new technologies sector, including clean tech and bio technologies, regularly profit from government investment. Over 2,000 scientists, researchers, technicians, and administrators are currently working in Singapore´s Biopolis, an international research and development facility for biomedical sciences.
Most people working in Singapore are employed in one of the main industries, including electronics, oil and gas, financial services, shipping and chemicals. Medical and IT professionals are in high demand. Healthcare is one of Singapore´s major sectors. Hundreds of thousands of “medical tourists” are treated by doctors and nurses working in Singapore every year. Conventional tourism also plays an important role, creating plenty of jobs for both skilled and unskilled employees working in Singapore. Again, the government has been working hard to transform Singapore from a popular stop-over point into a tourist destination in its own right. In an attempt to attract more tourists and to make the city a more attractive place for foreigners, the state has even legalized gambling and introduced casinos.