Singapore is the United State's tenth largest export market.
Because of its location, Singapore serves as a principle gateway to Asia and is often used as a
test market for U.S. products in Asia.
Singapore is highly dependent on U.S. and Japanese importing and exporting-foreign trade accounts
for the majority of its GNP.
While growth has traditionally been very high, Singapore has been hit hard by the Asian financial
crisis. Economic growth fell 90% in 1998.
Government-Linked Companies (GLCs) dominate the domestic market. They are omnipresent in large industries
such as banking and airlines.
Infrastructure, including telecommunications, utilities, and information technology, is very strong.
Aircraft and parts
Industrial process control
Electronic industry production/testing equipment
Computer hardware and peripherals
Laboratory and scientific instruments
Pollution control equipment
U.S. firms generally find Singapore to be a receptive, open and lucrative market.
Pricing is very competitive and competition is very fierce.
Hard bargaining is expected in commercial dealings.
Distribution channels are very strong-importer markups generally range from 20 to 40 percent.
Franchising is growing in popularity.
Singapore imports vast amounts of agricultural goods, including fruits, dairy, and processed foods.
Many business people in Singapore are ethnically Chinese or American; business culture reflects
Although many business people have English names, it is customary to address them by their last
Business dealings are generally very straightforward.
English is widely spoken and most business people are used to dealing with American customs.
Business cards are very important in Singapore. The Chinese custom of exchanging business cards
(and accepting them with both hands) prevails, although it is not necessary to have business cards
printed in Chinese.
Carry plenty of business cards.
Respect local customs.
Be mindful of status and rank, and show respect accordingly.
Litter or expectorate in public places.
Insult or criticize someone in public.
Compared to the American legal system, Singapore's judicial system seems very strict. Minor infractions
such as littering, vandalism and spitting on sidewalks can result in a mandatory caning sentence. Drug
violations can result in the death penalty. Civil disputes, such as business disagreements, can be tried
as criminal cases, resulting in heavy fines or even jail time. Cases are not tried by jury as in the U.S.-a
judge hears a case and decides the sentence alone.