Introduction to Singapore

Topics: Singapore, Malaysia, Malays in Singapore Pages: 14 (4535 words) Published: March 10, 2006
1 Introduction

G.K. Chesterton, a british novelist, poet and critic once said: "They say travel broadens the mind; but you must have the mind." (Source (1)) Mr Chesterton made a good statement considering the business world's increasing globalization where an understanding of international protocol has become more a necessity than a choice. The way to understand and being sensitive towards different cultures is just as important as business know how when it comes to being successful in international business. Successful executives understand the importance of being sensitive to business as well as social customs of the countries they are negotiating and working with. They are able to adjust to the culture-specific etiquette and are willing to learn how to behave socially abroad. In other words, they acknowledge the wisdom behind the saying, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." This paper is going to give a general survey of how visitors should behave when visiting Singapore for business or pleasure. It follows the outline of "The Ten Commandments For Avoiding Intercultural Communication Problems" by Prof. Dr. Olaf Rankis.

2 Singapore

2.1 General Information

The Republic of Singapore, the "Lion Island" is an independent city state and its capital is the City of Singapore. The capital measures about one sixth of the total area of the main island. The country is located in Southeastern Asia and consists of the island of Singapore and around 60 smaller islands of which just over 20 are inhabited. Singapore is located off the Southern tip of the Malaysian peninsular to which it is linked by a causeway. It is surrounded by the strait of Malakka in the West, the Southern Chinese Sea in the East which is a part of the Indian sea. Its neighbors are Malaysia in the North, the Indonesian island of Sumatra in the West and South and the island Kalimantan belonging to Malysia in the East.

The Republic of Singapore is one of the smallest countries in the world covering a total area of 250 square miles. In the list of the smallest countries of the world Singapore ranks 17th . In comparison, the Republic of Singapore is slightly 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC. Origin

The island was little known to the West until the 19th century, when in 1819, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles arrived as an agent of the British East India Company. He founded a British trading post and Singapore became an British trading colony. Over the years the island, with its deep harbor, became more and more important as a staging port between Europe, India and the far East. When the Suez Canal opened in 1869, shortening the voyage time to the East, Singapore's grew rapidly. In 1959 Singapore gained its independence from Britain and joined the federation of Malaysia in 1963. However, in 1965 Singapore left the Federation becoming a completely independent country with a seat at the United Nations and a place in the Commonwealth.

Singapore is an important hub for the Southeast Asian region. It has a dynamic economy, and strong service and manufacturing sectors. The country has one of the world's busiest ports and one of the world's leading airports. It is a major center for oil refining and distribution and a leader in shipbuilding and shiprepairing. But still the electronics industry is the most important part of the manufactoring sector. In recent years the financial and business services sectors of the economy have become the largest single contributor. Singapore's role as a trading center between East and West has continued into the age of telecommunications. Singapore Telecom has developed a technologicially advanced communications system networking the island. SingTel is Asia's third largest phone company. Singapore's economy has always depended on international trade and on the sale of services. Singapore's small population and dependence on external markets and suppliers has pushed the country toward economic openness, free...
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