The Pillars Of Success In The Top Five Industries Of Singapore

This article delves into the top five industries of Singapore—finance, oil, biotechnology, tourism, and information technology—powering its robust economic landscape.

The top five industries of Singapore contribute to making it a global financial hub, seamlessly blending modernity with tradition, featuring iconic architecture and diverse cultural influences. Renowned for its strategic geopolitical position, the city-state prioritizes technological innovation and a robust defence system to ensure national security in the dynamic Southeast Asian landscape. Singapore’s economic prowess is driven by diverse industries. From the globally competitive financial sector to the flourishing biotechnology and oil industries, the nation stands as a beacon of success. This article delves into the top five industries of Singapore—finance, oil, biotechnology, tourism, and information technology—powering its robust economic landscape.

Top Five Industries Of Singapore

Financial Services

Singapore has established itself as a prominent global financial hub, recognized for the high-quality financial services provided by its banks and other financial institutions. Notably, in the 2017 Global Financial Centers Index, Singapore secured the third position, trailing only behind New York City and London in terms of financial sector competitiveness. The range of services offered includes internet banking, support for multiple currencies, savings and checking accounts, wealth management systems, and various other appealing financial products.
Despite its success, the financial sector in Singapore has faced criticism from entities such as the Human Rights Watch. The critique revolves around allegations that the nation’s financial institutions extend their services to individuals involved in criminal activities and corruption. An example cited is the flow of billions of dollars from Burma, where state gas revenues went missing. Despite these allegations, Singapore’s financial sector continues to thrive and attract individuals and businesses who once relied on Swiss banks for banking their assets. This shift is facilitated by a relaxation in the traditionally stringent Swiss banking secrecy and increased taxation by the Swiss government. Notably, Credit Suisse, one of the largest Swiss banks, has relocated one of its executives to Singapore.

Energy and Infrastructure

Singapore holds a critical position in Asia, serving as a central hub for both oil trading and pricing in the region. The oil industry plays a substantial role in the country’s economy, contributing approximately 5% to its total Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Singapore ranks among the top three globally in terms of export refining centres. In 2017, the nation’s oil exports reached around 68.1 million tons, fostering the growth of related sectors such as chemicals and the manufacturing of gas and oil equipment.
Singapore has a significant market share, meeting 70% of the world’s demand for jack-up rigs and Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSOs) unit conversion


Singapore boasts the largest biotechnology facilities in the region, attracting foreign investors through various means, including the offer of incentives and substantial financial investments by the government. Notably, leading pharmaceutical companies like GSK have committed significant funds, such as a substantial $300 million investment by GSK for the establishment of a pediatric vaccine production plant. Between 2011 and 2015, Singapore directed approximately $16.1 billion into advancing the biotechnology sector.
Several international companies, including MSD, Novartis, Abbott, and others, have chosen Singapore as the location for their manufacturing bases. Foreign firms seeking to invest in Singapore can capitalize on the advantages provided by the two primary “Biotech Parks,” which offer benefits such as tax incentives, robust infrastructure, and various other incentives to encourage and support these companies.

Tourism plays a crucial role in Singapore’s economy, with an estimated 15 million tourists visiting the country in 2014. To further boost this sector, the government took the step of legalizing casinos in 2005. Beyond conventional tourism, Singapore has emerged as a prominent destination for medical tourism. Annually, around 200,000 individuals come to the country to seek healthcare services. The goal is to attract a minimum of one million medical tourists, generating approximately $3 billion in revenue annually.

Information And Communications Technologies
The information and communications technologies (ICT) sector is a vital contributor to Singapore’s economic success. Government regulations are in place to oversee and control this sector. Similarly, the transport sector faces stringent regulations due to the country’s small size and the potential for congestion caused by private cars. Owners of private vehicles are subject to high fees for driving as a means of addressing this issue.