Coming in at number 9 on our The Quintessential Global Cities search is the tiny island city-state of Singapore. Don’t let its size fool you; it is one of the most important financial centers of the world and one of the Asian Tiger economies. Sitting near the tip of the Malaysian Peninsula, it looks out over the Malacca Strait, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.
Established by Sir Stamford Raffles as a British trading post in the Far East, Singapore quickly became an important link between China, India, the Middle-East, and Europe. As the Asian economies grew, Singapore’s strategic location and transport infrastructure became ever-increasingly important.
Today, Singapore is one of the busiest shipping ports in the world. Millions of containers pass through its port laden with trillions of dollars worth of cargo every year. The transport infrastructure has also given rise to businesses relocating to Singapore in search of international growth opportunities.
Singapore is known for its cosmopolitan society. Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Arab immigrants make the country a melting pot of cultures and one of the premiere dining destinations of the world. A world class mass-transit system means you don’t even need to own a car.
In recent years, Singapore has made a push to increase tourism. As more and more tourists are flocking to East Asia, this was an opportunity to diversify the economy from the traditional shipping backbone. Sentosa Resort and Marina Bay Sands are two current mega-resorts that have created a significant boost for the economy, particularly through gambling and entertainment.
The future for Singapore seems bright, and its high standard of living makes it an ideal destination to settle down. Just make sure you follow all the rules, and don’t carry any chewing gum with you!