Singapore Table of Contents
Japan's place in Singapore's business picture was underscored by the fact that, in the 1980s, Japanese were the largest resident expatriate community in the city. Japan was the country's single largest supplier, accounting in 1987 for 25.3 percent of total imports, and Singapore's largest trade deficit was with Japan. Buyback arrangements for products manufactured by Japanese firms in Singapore also accounted for a significant part of the trade. Oil accounted for 40 percent of Singapore's exports to Japan in 1988. Singaporean observers noted by 1989 a significant difference in the market orientation between Japanese firms and United States-owned multinationals. Japanese firms in Singapore were producing primarily for the United States and other third-country markets, rather than for the Japanese home market. The United Statescontrolled multinationals, on the other hand, produced mainly for their own home market. Many of these same observers, both official and unofficial, also expressed the sentiment that the world export market in the 1990s, would "belong to Japan."
Data as of December 1989