The Republic of Singapore is located in southeast Asia, south of Malaysia and northwest of Indonesia. The island measures a total of 637 square kilometers with a coastline 193 kilometers long. Singapore is generally comprised of lowland areas with a central plateau in the middle of the island. Its elevation ranges from the Bukit Timah, (166 m.), to the Singapore Strait which is at sea level. Its climate is tropical and wet. Precipitation occurs on 40% of all days, (70% of days in April). Singapore's two biggest natural recourses are its fishing industry, and its deep water ports. Singapore is also a focal point for most Southeast Asian sea routes.
Singapore was originally settled by Great Britain in 1819 as a port of call. The British used Singapore to extend their territories in Indonesia. It remained under British rule until 1941 when Japan bombed and captured Singapore. After three years of Japanese rule, British forces returned to the island. By this time Singapore was longing for self-government. Singapore realized its need for independence in 1959 holding its first general election. The new, independent Singapore was voted into the United Nations in 1965. On December 22, 1965, Singapore became a republic electing Yusof bin Ishak as its first president.
In Singapore's short life as a republic, it has developed a sound infrastructure. In the way of transportation, Singapore has a total of 105 kilometers of railways used for commercial and personal transportation. It has also built over 3,000 kilometers of highways, 2,936 of which are paved. Singapore also boasts a 67 kilometer mass transit system with 42 stations. The mass transit system is the preferred means of travel in Singapore due to the fact that only one of every ten people own an automobile. Singapore produces 28 billion kilowatts of electricity annually. One hundred percent of Singapore's electricity is produced by means of fossil fuel. An estimated 97% of all residents live in households with electricity and running water. Singapore's leading industries include: electronics, petroleum refining, oil drilling equipment, rubber products and rubber processing, processed food and beverages, ship repair, entrepot trade, biotechnology, and financial services.
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Singapore's current US connection of 45 Mbps is growing everyday. Local internet providers have begun expanding their connection speed and size through the use of satellite links. It is estimated that in the next ten years the number of internet connections in Singapore will almost be double what it is today.
Electronic Commerce is changing the way business is conducted today. Singapore has positioned itself to become a major part of the E-business trend. Developing technology, government support, and growing internet awareness make Singapore an ideal environment in which E-commerce can thrive. Lee Yock Suan sums up Singapore's E-commerce environment by saying ,"We want to be plugged into this global development, and position Singapore as an international E-commerce hub."
Rajakru, Dang Journal of Contemporary Asia, vol 26, 1996, p. 3-27
The state, family and industrial development: the Singapore case.
Graham, Mark Industry Week, vol 249 no 7, 2000,p. 37-40
Singapore lures technology: it's clean, green -- and a powerful machine.
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