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EXCELLENCY OF SINGAPORE
Singapore officially the Republic of Singapore, is an island city-state located
of the equator, south of the Malaysian state of Johor and north of Indonesia's
smallest nation in Southeast Asia, is by orders of magnitude larger than
Monaco and Vatican City. These, as well as San Marino, are the only other
surviving sovereign city-states.
Before European settlement, the island now known as Singapore was the site
of a Malay fishing village at the mouth of the Singapore River. Several
hundred indigenous Orang Laut people also lived along the nearby coast,
rivers and on smaller islands. In 1819, the British East India Company, led by
Sir Stamford Raffles, established a trading post on the island, which was used
as a port along the spice route. Singapore became one of the most important
commercial and military centers of the British Empire, and the hub of British
power in Southeast Asia.
Since independence, Singapore's standard of living has risen dramatically.
Foreign direct investment and a state-led drive to industrialization based on
plans drawn up by the Dutch economist Albert Winsemius have created a
modern economy focused on industry, education and urban planning.
Singapore is the 5th wealthiest country in the world in terms of GDP (PPP)
per capita. In December 2008, the foreign exchange reserves of this small
island nation stood at around US$174.2billion. The Singapore government
had for the first time in history tapped into her official reserves and withdrew
some S$4.9 billion with the approval of the President. The funds were then
used as part of the S$20.5 billion resilience package unveiled by Finance
Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on 5 February 2009. As of January
2009, Singapore's official reserves stand at US$170.3 billion.
In 2009, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Singapore the tenth most
expensive city in the world in which to live—the third in Asia, after Tokyo and
Osaka. The 2009 Cost of Living survey, by consultancy firm Mercer, has
ranked Singapore similarly as the tenth most expensive city for expatriates to
The population of Singapore is approximately 4.86 million. Singapore is highly
cosmopolitan and diverse with Chinese people forming an ethnic majority with
large populations of Malay, Indian and other people. English, Malay, Tamil,
and Chinese are the official languages.
Singapore is a parliamentary republic, and the Constitution of Singapore
establishes representative democracy as the nation's political system. The
People's Action Party (PAP) dominates the political process and has won
control of Parliament in every election since self-government in 1959.
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STUDY & WORK ABROAD