From ArticleWorld

Singapore is a Republic and an island-city state, being the smallest country in South Asia. It is located on the Southern tip of the Malay Peninsula and its name derives from the Malay “singa”, which means lion.


The beginning of the known history in the region dates back to the 3rd century. The Sumatran Srivijaya Empire had an outpost there named Temasek. It evolved and became a very important trading city. It eventually declined and the region’s history is not well known until the 16th century. Between the 16th and 19th centuries Singapore appeared as one part of the Sultanate of Johore. This changed after the Malay-Portugal war in 1617, with Portugal setting Singapore on fire. 1819 saw the British official Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles signing a treaty with the Sultanate of Johore, making Singapore a trading post and settlement. In 1867 it turned into a British colony. World War II saw Japanese forces invade the area with one of the most important battles fought in Singapore. The country was occupied, renamed, but eventually it became independent in 1959, establishing itself as a self-governing state. The first head of state was Yusof Ishak and the first prime minister was Lee Kuan Yew. The actual independence was proclaimed on August 9, 1965, making the day the country’s national day. After that date the country had to face several problems including high unemployment rate, lack of natural resources and lack of sufficient housing. Nowadays the country is still facing serious economic problems.


Singapore is a country with a high developed market-base economy. Because of this, its role in Asia is important. The economy relies on exporting goods that have been refined from imports. The most developed such fields of activity can be found in manufacturing and electronics. Singapore’s economy was hit hard in 2001 because of the global recession but, with the introduction of the Goods and Service Tax on the 1st of April 1994, the government received much more money. Since that time the economy started to develop and a growth is still expected due to the increase of the Goods and Service Tax from the original 3% to 5% in 2005.


Singapore is beginning to be a popular tourist destination. In 2005 over 9 million people visited the country, transforming tourism into a profitable industry that gains money for the country. The biggest attractions come from the cultural heritage that Singapore offers from the time of the British colony. The country offers elements from different cultures like: Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian and Arab. Another important attractions stands in the world renowned cuisine and many tourists will also chose to visit several popular sites like the Singapore Zoo (and the Nights Safari), Jurong Bird Park, Sentosa Island and many others. Singapore is currently experiencing a huge development in tourist facilities.