Singapore is a highly developed city-state. Its population, as of June 2008, was 4.84 million. With a gross domestic product (GDP) of US$161,349 million in 2007 it belongs to the top 45 economies in the world, in spite of its very small size. In terms of per-capita GDP, on the purchasing power parity (PPP) basis, it is among the world’s leaders—in 2007, it was at number five, below Brunei and above the United States.
In its World Competitiveness Yearbook 2008, The International Institute for Management Development ranked it second and the World Economic Forum (WEF) in its Global Competitiveness Index for 2008–09 fifth.
There are three major types of Singapore-based companies. Foreign-affiliated firms are the strongest players, in terms of capital and production capacity. They are also the biggest exporters. As of 2003, wholly owned or majority-owned foreign firms accounted for 71 percent of net fixed assets in the manufacturing sector, 73 percent of its value added, and 44 percent of employment (Koh 2007, 168).
The second group is comprised of several hundred state-owned, or government-linked, companies (GLCs). Most of them are controlled by the state holding company, Temasek. Many GLCs are listed and are actively attracting capital from private investors across the world. Some of them have grown into large global players. The most well known GLCs include Singapore Airlines (the largest air company in the world ...