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Over the last four decades, Singapore has achieved enviable economic progress. Today, the city-state is a reputable financial center, a key regional trading center, one of the world’s busiest ports and a top location for investment.

Singapore offers a pro-business environment, advanced infrastructure, world-class connectivity, highly trained people and a young working and consumer population.

Leading surveys have consistently ranked Singapore as one of the most competitive nations and best places for business in the world. In a 2010 World Bank-IFC report, Singapore was ranked as the world’s easiest place to do business and is the second most open economy in the world (according to the 2009 Index of Economic Freedom). Singapore has also consistently been ranked as one of the five least corrupt countries in the world and the least corrupt nation in Asia by Transparency International.

Singapore has entered into landmark free trade agreements (FTAs) with ASEAN, the United States, Australia, the European Free Trade Association (Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland), New Zealand, India, China, South Korea, Japan, Peru, Costa Rica, the Trans-Pacific SEP (Brunei, New Zealand and Chile), the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Panama and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates). It is currently negotiating FTAs with Canada, Mexico, Pakistan and Ukraine.


Venture capital industry
A significant amount of venture capital funding has been attracted into Singapore and is managed by a host of fund management companies and firms.

Government-linked schemes and incentives
 To further foster entrepreneurship and innovation in Singapore, the EDB has a range of schemes and incentives designed to help new ventures over initial funding hurdles, obtain government co-funding, enjoy tax breaks for investors and support for entrepreneurs seeking investors. These include:
  • the Business Angel Scheme
  • the i.MATCH Programme
  • the Startup Enterprise Development Scheme.

Research and development
The Singapore government committed S$13.55 billion (approximately US$10 billion) on R&D activities in the period 2006–10 (a more than 200 per cent increase from the previous five-year period). The government has also established several research institutions, with competence in areas such as biotechnology, microelectronics, manufacturing technologies, materials and chemical sciences.