Market profile

Singapore is dynamic and business oriented, has a strong and sophisticated economy and is the major regional hub for multinational businesses operating in Asia. Regarded as a rapidly growing “developed country”, Singapore is a key cornerstone to regional development and has a key role to play in driving the ASEAN growth.

More information on doing business in Singapore

Bilateral relations

On 29 June 2015, Australia and Singapore signed a Joint Declaration on the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP), on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of diplomatic relations. The CSP opens a new, dynamic chapter in the two countries' partnership by deepening existing areas of cooperation and catalysing new ones.

The two governments have embarked on a ten year economic plan, in particular, enhance collaboration in innovation, science, research and technology, capitalising on the two countries' respective and complementary strengths.

Economic climate

Singapore's GDP growth for 2016 was 2.0 per cent ($S410 billion). Unemployment in Singapore remains low at 2.1 per cent. Singapore’s goods trade surplus dropped slightly from $US49.9 billion from $US46.9 billion in 2016.

Trade relations

  • Singapore is Australia's largest trade and investment partner in ASEAN and our seventh largest 2-way trading partner overall. In 2016-17, Australian merchandise exports to Singapore were $A5.8 billion and our imports from Singapore were $A8.2 billion. Services are a key part of our bilateral trade, with exports to Singapore valued at $A5.36 billion and imports at $A5.17 billion in 2016-17.
  • Singapore's investment in Australia is substantial. At A$98.9 billion in 2016, up from A$98.8 in 2015, Singapore was ranked sixth overall as a source of foreign investment in Australia. Singaporean investment has traditionally been concentrated in real estate, but has become more diversified in recent years.
  • Australia has a strong education and training relationship with Singapore and is a popular destination for Singaporean students studying overseas. There are more than 130,000 Singaporean alumni of Australian institutions. Australian universities also have a strong presence in Singapore, with more than 20 offering degrees either at their own campus or through a Singapore partner.

Free Trade Agreements

  • On 29 June 2015, Prime Ministers of Australia and Singapore agreed to the Third Review of SAFTA as part of a new package of initiatives to advance the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP). Under this review, SAFTA will be upgraded to reflect the increasingly global, competitive and connected business environment, and will build upon the outcomes of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, which Singapore and Australia have also signed.
  • On 6 May 2016, Australia and Singapore announced that the Third SAFTA Review was substantially concluded. The Third SAFTA Review will further integrate our two economies by locking in access and providing business certainty in trade and investment into the future.

ASEAN NOW – Insights for Australian Business

A digital report on Australia’s trade and investment relationship with ASEAN.

Key sections:

  • Why ASEAN matters to Australia
  • What’s driving growth
  • Opportunities by ASEAN market
  • Practical tips and assistance
  • Case studies.

Singapore's market insights and opportunities


  • Merchandise exports A$9,837 million
  • Services exports A$5,131 million
  • Capital Singapore
  • Official languages Malay, Chinese (Mandarin), Tamil, English
  • Area 700 sq km
  • Population 5.6 million

Information provided by DFAT

Country brief

A comprehensive overview of political, economic and bilateral and regional trade agreements.

» read more at DFAT

Trade and economic fact sheet

Containing general information, recent economic indicators, Australia’s trade and investment relationship with Singapore and their global merchandise trade relationship that is updated twice a year.

» read more at DFAT


Australia's trade at a glanceAustralia's top ten trading partners

Free Trade Agreement

Information on Trade Agreements in force and in negotiation, plus market videos detailing insights and opportunities.

» read more at DFAT

APEC Business Travel Card Scheme

Managed by the Department of Home Affairs, the APEC Business Travel Card Scheme was developed to make travelling within the 21 APEC member countries much simpler and more efficient.

IP Passport fact sheets

These fact sheets outline foreign Intellectual Property (IP) regimes and some of the issues and challenges which may be faced by Australian exporters.

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