Singapore is not just one island but a main island with over 60 surrounding islets. However, its compact size belies its economic growth. In just 150 years, Singapore has grown into a thriving center of commerce and industry. Its former role as an entrepot has diminished, as the Republic increased its manufacturing base.
Singapore is the busiest port in the world with over 600 shipping lines sending super tankers, container ships, and passenger liners to share the busy waters with coastal fishing vessels and wooden lighters.
One of the world's major oil refining and distribution centers, Singapore is also a major supplier of electronic components and a leader in shipbuilding and repairing. It has also become one of the most important financial centers of Asia with more than 130 banks. Business dealings are facilitated by Singapore's superb communications network, which links the Republic to the rest of the world via satellite, 24-hour telegraph, and telephone systems. Singapore's strategic location, excellent facilities, fascinating cultural contrasts, and tourist attractions contribute to its success as a leading destination for both business and pleasure.
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