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An underlying principle is political and economic stability in the region. As Singapore has diplomatic relations with both United States and North Korea , and was one of the few countries that have relationships with both countries,  on 12 June , Singapore hosted a historic summit between U. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un , the first-ever meeting between the sitting leaders of the two nations.
The summit took place at the Capella Resort on the island of Sentosa. This was agreed to in for implementation by In general, bilateral relations with other ASEAN members are strong; however, disagreements have arisen,  and relations with neighbouring Malaysia and Indonesia have sometimes been strained. The first diplomatic contact with China was made in the s, with full diplomatic relations established in the s.
Since then the two countries have been major players in strengthening the ASEAN—China relationship, and has maintained a long-standing and greatly prioritised close relationship partly due to China's growing influence and essentiality in the Asia-Pacific region, specifying that "its common interest with China is far greater than any differences". Furthermore, Singapore has positioned itself as a strong supporter of China's constructive engagement and peaceful development in the region.
In addition, China has been Singapore's largest trading partner since , after surpassing Malaysia. Singapore has also pushed regional counter-terrorism initiatives, with a strong resolve to deal with terrorists inside its borders. To this end, the country has stepped up co-operation with ASEAN members and China to strengthen regional security and fight terrorism, as well as participating in the organisation's first joint maritime exercise with the latter.
The Singaporean military is arguably the most technologically advanced in Southeast Asia. It is seen as the guarantor of the country's independence. After its independence, Singapore had two infantry regiments commanded by British officers. This force was considered too small to provide effective security for the new country, so the development of its military forces became a priority. The last British soldier left Singapore in March New Zealand troops were the last to leave, in A great deal of initial support came from Israel ,  a country that is not recognised by the neighbouring Muslim-majority nations of Malaysia, Indonesia, or Brunei.
Military courses were conducted according to the IDF's format, and Singapore adopted a system of conscription and reserve service based on the Israeli model. The SAF is being developed to respond to a wide range of issues, in both conventional and unconventional warfare. The Defence Science and Technology Agency is responsible for procuring resources for the military. The small size of the population has also affected the way the SAF has been designed, with a small active force but a large number of reserves. Singapore has conscription for all able-bodied males at age 18, except those with a criminal record or who can prove that their loss would bring hardship to their families.
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Males who have yet to complete pre-university education or are awarded the Public Service Commission scholarship can opt to defer their draft. Before induction into a specific branch of the armed forces, recruits undergo at least 9 weeks of basic military training. Because of the scarcity of open land on the main island, training involving activities such as live firing and amphibious warfare is often carried out on smaller islands, typically barred to civilian access.
This also avoids risk to the main island and the city. However, large-scale drills are considered too dangerous to be performed in the area, and since have been performed in Taiwan. In general, military exercises are held with foreign forces once or twice per week. The SAF has sent forces to assist in operations outside the country, in areas such as Iraq  and Afghanistan ,  in both military and civilian roles. In the region, it has helped stabilise East Timor and has provided aid to Aceh in Indonesia following the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.
Singapore law dating from Penal Code, s. Singapore consists of 63 islands , including the main island, Pulau Ujong. The highest natural point is Bukit Timah Hill at Ongoing land reclamation projects have increased Singapore's land area from In Singapore imported almost 15 million tons of sand for its projects, the demand being such that Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam have all restricted or barred the export of sand to Singapore in recent years.
As a result, in Singapore switched to using polders — a Netherlands solution — to reclamation, in which an area is enclosed and then pumped dry. Since this tropical rainforest climate is more subject to the Intertropical Convergence Zone than the trade winds and cyclones are very rare, it is equatorial. While temperature does not vary greatly throughout the year, there is a wetter monsoon season from November to January.
From July to October, there is often haze caused by bush fires in neighbouring Indonesia, usually from the island of Sumatra. Singapore remains highly vulnerable to the risk of climate change especially with regards to the rising sea level. Between and , growth rates averaged around 6 per cent per annum, transforming the living standards of the population. The Singaporean economy is known as one of the freest,  most innovative,  most competitive,  most dynamic  and most business-friendly. For several years, Singapore has been one of the few  countries with an AAA credit rating from the "big three" , and the only Asian country to achieve this rating.
There are also approximately 1, companies from China and a similar number from India. Roughly 44 percent of the Singaporean workforce is made up of non-Singaporeans. Singapore is the second-largest foreign investor in India.
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This is different from most central banks , which use interest rates to manage policy. In recent years, the country has been identified as an increasingly popular tax haven for the wealthy due to the low tax rate on personal income and tax exemptions on foreign-based income and capital gains. Australian millionaire retailer Brett Blundy and multi-billionaire Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin are two examples of wealthy individuals who have settled in Singapore Blundy in and Saverin in Singapore has the world's highest percentage of millionaires, with one out of every six households having at least one million US dollars in disposable wealth.
This excludes property, businesses, and luxury goods, which if included would increase the number of millionaires, especially as property in Singapore is among the world's most expensive.
It also has one of the highest income inequalities among developed countries. Singapore traditionally has one of the lowest unemployment rates among developed countries. The government provides numerous assistance programmes to the homeless and needy through the Ministry of Social and Family Development , so acute poverty is rare. Some of the programmes include providing between SGD and SGD per month to needy households, providing free medical care at government hospitals, and paying for children's school fees. Globally, Singapore is a leader in several economic sectors, including being 3rd-largest foreign exchange centre, 3rd-leading financial centre ,   2nd-largest casino gambling market,  3rd-largest oil-refining and trading centre, world's largest oil-rig producer and major hub for ship repair services,    world's top logistics hub.
The economy is diversified, with its top contributors—financial services, manufacturing, oil-refining. The nation's best known global brands include Singapore Airlines , Changi Airport and Port of Singapore , all three are amongst the most-awarded in their respective industry sectors. Singapore Airlines is ranked as Asia's most-admired company, and world's 19th most-admired in , by Fortune 's annual "50 most admired companies in the world" industry surveys. The strategic international air hub has more than "World's Best Airport" awards as of [update] , and is known as the most-awarded airport in the world.
Tourism forms a large part of the economy, with over 17 million tourists visiting the city-state in Singapore is an education hub, with more than 80, international students in Information and communications technologies ICT is one of the pillars of Singapore's economic success. However, Singapore's mass communications networks, including television and phone networks, have long been operated by the government.
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When Singapore first came online, Singaporeans could use Teleview to communicate with one another, but not with those outside of their sovereign city-state. Publications such as The Wall Street Journal were censored. It is the most comprehensive survey of the pervasiveness and network-readiness of a country, in terms of market, political and regulatory infrastructure for connectivity.
Singapore has also topped Waseda University 's International e-Government rankings from to , and As Singapore is a small island with a high population density, the number of private cars on the road is restricted to curb pollution and congestion. Car buyers must pay for duties one-and-a-half times the vehicle's market value, and bid for a Singaporean Certificate of Entitlement COE , which allows the car to run on the road for a decade.
The cost of the Singaporean certificate of entitlement alone would buy a Porsche Boxster in the United States. Car prices are generally significantly higher in Singapore than in other English-speaking countries. There are six taxi companies , who together put out over 28, taxis on the road. Singapore is a major international transport hub in Asia, serving some of the busiest sea and air trade routes. Singapore Changi Airport hosts a network of over airlines connecting Singapore to some cities in about 70 countries and territories worldwide.
The Port of Singapore , managed by port operators PSA International and Jurong Port , was the world's second-busiest port in in terms of shipping tonnage handled, at 1. In addition, the port is the world's busiest for transshipment traffic and the world's biggest ship refuelling centre. Access to water is universal, affordable, efficient and of high quality.
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Singapore relies on four main water sources, or "four national taps" - water imported from neighbouring Malaysia, urban rainwater catchments , reclaimed water NEWater and seawater desalination. Singapore has declared that it will be water self-sufficient by the time its long-term water supply agreement with Malaysia expires in However, according to official forecasts water demand in Singapore is expected to double from to million gallons per day between and Due to the need to invest in and upgrade the water system to address concerns such as climate change and increasing costs of producing water and maintaining water infrastructure, water prices in Singapore has been revised since ,  its first revision since As of mid, the estimated population of Singapore was 5,, people, 3,, The same census also reports that about From onward, people may register using a multi-racial classification, in which they may choose one primary race and one secondary race, but no more than two.
Also, The median age of Singaporean residents was The large number of immigrants has kept Singapore's population from declining. All male citizens and permanent residents in Singapore have a statutory requirement to undergo a period of compulsory service in the uniformed services, known as National Service or NS for short , as well as periodic reservist duties after completion of active duty.
The next-most practised religion is Christianity , followed by Islam , Taoism , and Hinduism.