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Singapore: diversity in work and lifestyle

Written by Parisa Naraei

Singapore is a world leader in several economic areas. The country is the world’s fourth leading financial center. The world’s second largest casino gambling market, one of the world’s top three oil-refining centers. The world’s largest oil-rig producer, and a major hub for ship repair services. The port is one of five busiest ports in the world. The World Bank has named Singapore as the easiest place in the world to do business, and ranks Singapore the world’s top logistics hub. It is also the world’s fourth largest foreign-exchange trading center after London, New York City and Tokyo.

As a result of the recession in the early 2000s and a slump in the technology sector, Singapore’s GDP contracted by 2.2% in 2001. The Economic Review Committee was set up in December 2001 and recommended several policy changes to revitalize the economy. Singapore has since recovered, due largely to improvements in the world economy; the economy grew by 8.3% in 2004, 6.4% in 2005, and 7.9% in 2006. After a contraction of 0.8% in 2009, the economy recovered in 2010, with GDP growth of 14.5%. Most work in Singapore is in the service sector, which employed 2,151,400 people out of 3,102,500 jobs in December 2010. The percentage of unemployed economically active people above age 15 is about 2%.

Some fields of employment are stronger than others and, thus, offer better opportunities for expats to find employment.

The service sector is incredibly strong in Singapore. One of its biggest employers is the tourism industry by far. This is no surprise, as each year the city state attracts millions of visitors. Still, the industry tries to increase their earnings to SGD 30 billion, and to cater to 17 million tourists by 2015.

Singapore is a true global player in terms of banking and finance. Wealth management companies, International banks, and other financial institutions have started their headquarters there. Singapore has become a major financial hub in Asia, particularly in the field of insurance and foreign exchange.

In recent years, as demands for new shopping malls, hotels, and business parks increased, the construction industry has experienced a boom, while the sector grew by 20.3% in 2007, a slow drag promises to put a damper on the success of the constructions sector in 2014.

Medical tourism is gaining popularity on the job market in Singapore. Since the country’s medical standards are high and the healthcare system is on the way of becoming one of the best in Asia, more and more foreign nationals head to Singapore for medical treatment. Up to one million international patients visit the country each year.

Singapore sees itself as a “global media city“, strengthening its ties to the international media scene and collaborating with different foreign businesses. Currently, there are more than 500 national and international media companies with a focus on animation, post-production, and distribution.

Singapore is among top 20 countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita, with a high standard of living. The country with diverse business sectors and ease to do business is perfect for expats seeking exceptional employment and entrepreneurs looking to start in ASEAN.

–Edited by Mohamed P.Hassan