Singapore - Foreign trade

Since World War II, Singapore has changed from an entrepôt center for the incoming and outgoing traffic of its neighbors in Southeast Asia to an exporting power in its own right. The leading exports of the mid-1960s—rubber, coffee, pepper, and palm oil—were replaced in the early 1980s by a variety of capital-intensive manufactures. Except for an occasional slowing, annual levels of trade regularly record double-digit expansion. During the late 1990s, expansion in the high-end manufacturing and services sectors began replacing capital-intensive production.

Most of the advanced electronics that Singapore exports also take up a substantial percentage of the world export market. The following chart shows the top eight exports:


Automatic data processing equipment 14
Electronic microcircuits 19
Refined petroleum products 9.4
Telecommunications equipment 4.3
Organic chemicals 2.2
Circuit breakers 2.4
Sound recording tapes/discs 1.8
Optical equipment 1.5

In 2000 Singapore's imports were distributed among the following categories:


Consumer goods 9.6%
Food 2.7%
Fuels 12.1%
Industrial supplies 14.0%
Machinery 56.5%
Transportation 4.3%
Other 0.8%

Singapore's main trading partners are the ASEAN group— principally Malaysia—the US, Malaysia, China and Hong Kong, and Japan. Principal trading partners in 2000 (in millions of US dollars) were as follows:


Malaysia 25,026 22,832 2,193
United States 23,891 20,270 3,621
China (inc. Hong Kong) 16,216 10,627 5,589
Japan 10,400 23,154 -12,754
Thailand 5,865 5,800 65
Korea 4,913 4,815 98
Germany 4,275 4,233 42
United Kingdom 3,550 2,736 814
Philippines 3,383 3,357 26
Australia 3,207 2,298 909

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