Overview

  • Singapore is a high-income economy with a gross national income of $51,880 per capita (Atlas Method), as of 2016. The country provides one of the world’s most business-friendly regulatory environment for local entrepreneurs and is ranked among the world’s most competitive economies.

    In the decades after independence, Singapore rapidly developed from a low-income country to a high- income country. GDP growth in the city-state has been amongst the world’s highest, at an average of 7.7% since independence and topping 9.2% in the first 25 years.

    After rapid industrialization in the 1960s catapulted the island nation’s development trajectory, manufacturing became the main driver of growth. In the early 1970s, Singapore reached full employment and joined the ranks of Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan a decade later as Asia’s newly industrializing countries. The manufacturing and services sectors remain the twin pillars of Singapore’s high value-added economy.

    In 2017, Singapore launched this regional trading hub as ‘Asia’s Infrastructure Exchange’: “the go-to place where infrastructure demand and supply can connect, where infrastructure expertise and financing can be obtained and infrastructure needs are met”. In its announcement, the government highlights the country’s strong ecosystem, one that integrates infrastructure players along the whole value chain – multilateral banks, private financiers, lawyers, accountants, engineers and other professional services. The program also presents the World Bank Group Singapore Hub as the first overseas ‘One Bank Group’ office to service the full project financing value chain for the region. 

    Last Updated: Sep 30, 2017

  • Singapore became the 104th member of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) on August 3, 1966. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, Singapore had received its first loan in 1963 under guarantee from the U.K. Government, and its second loan under guarantee from the Malaysian Federation, to which it then belonged. It received its third loan in 1966 after independence.

    Over the period 1963 to 1975, Singapore received 14 loans from the World Bank. The first ten were exclusively in the infrastructure sectors and included water interconnection, port expansion, sewage, power and telecommunications. This closely followed the findings of an economic analysis of Singapore conducted by the Bank in 1963, which concluded that, “most important for Singapore’s economic future in the long run (are the Government’s) investments in the economy’s infrastructure, (which) will shape the framework within which development takes place.”  By 1970, the program expanded to focus the development of human capital and the services sector; this period saw the Bank’s support for the capitalization of the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS), for environmental management programs, and for the development of the national university.  Support to infrastructure continued throughout.

    In 1975, Singapore graduated from the lending program and by the mid-1980s, the loans were repaid.  

    Today Singapore is a member of all five World Bank Group institutions, and an important contributor of global initiatives such as the Global Infrastructure Facility, to which it contributed US $10 million. It inspires many cities and countries striving to reach a similar level of development within one generation.

    The World Bank Group Singapore office opened in September 1999 as an external affairs representative office focused on sharing knowledge with local networks.  In 2009, the office expanded with the establishment of the Singapore Infrastructure and Urban Hub, aimed to leverage the country’s expertise in urban development and infrastructure finance.

    An agreement was struck in September 2011 to expand the partnership, and representatives from both International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) soon joined the Hub to strengthen the Hub’s engagement with the private sector, followed by units from Corporate Finance and Risk Management, Treasury, IFC’s Asset Management Company, and the Global Infrastructure Facility.

    On October 27, 2015, the agreement for the expansion of the World Bank Singapore Hub for Infrastructure and Urban Development was signed.

    Today, Singapore’s transformation into an international center for infrastructure finance, trade, and urban development, combined with World Bank Group expertise, helps inform the preparation of innovative development solutions to client countries, which includes supporting direct investments and credit enhancements for infrastructure development. Now the largest international organization based in Singapore with some 200 staff, the Hub is the only WBG office in the world that co-locates IBRD, IFC, and MIGA.

    Last Updated: Sep 30, 2017

  • The Singapore Hub works across WBG units to promote synergies across organizations, through the co-location of the World Bank, IFC and MIGA. The Infrastructure, PPPs, and Guarantees (IPG) group and the Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF) work in partnership with staff from the Global Practices, including energy and extractives, transport, ICT, urban development, and water, making Singapore a true infrastructure hub.

    In addition, IFC's Treasury operates a trading office out of Singapore and IFC’s Advisory Services in public-private partnerships now has its Asia hub based in Singapore. The Competitive Industries (CI) Practice supports countries as they develop their economic potential in diverse industries. CTR, CFR and Treasury provide clients knowledge on and access to innovative financing instruments.

    In September 2016, an MOU was signed between the World Bank Group and the National University of Singapore, designed to broaden collaboration and advance policy research that address global development challenges. The World Bank Group is also strategic partner in Singapore’s flagship knowledge events such as the World Cities Summit, International Water Week and International Energy Week, and hosts also the annual Infrastructure Finance Summit with the Financial Times.

    With some 200 experts in their respective fields based in Singapore, the Hub functions as a ‘Solutions Laboratory’ for the East Asia and Pacific region, mobilizing cross-GP support to country program initiatives in Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, China, the Philippines, Cambodia and the Pacific island countries.

    The Hub also delivers important research related to infrastructure and connectivity. A report on ASEAN connectivity helped shape the updating of the Master Plan for ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) and led to a follow-up report.  The Global Infrastructure Connectivity Alliance, its Secretariat based in Singapore, will work across regions and disciplines to promote cooperation, knowledge exchange, and meaningful progress in the field of global inter-connectivity. The Global Platform for Sustainable Cities, also managed from the Singapore Hub, is working to expand its membership of 27 cities, and supports the preparation of country frameworks for sustainable cities. 

    Last Updated: Sep 30, 2017

  • World Bank Governor

    Each member country is represented within the World Bank Group by a governor, who is generally the finance minister or the minister of development of the country concerned, and whose powers extend in particular to authorizing capital increases, approving financial statements, accepting or electing to suspend new members at the Annual Meetings.

    The governor for Singapore is Heng Swee Keat, the Minister of Finance. The alternate governor is Permanent Secretary Ching Yee Tan of the Ministry of Finance.

     

    World Bank Executive Director

    The governors delegate some of their functions to Executive Directors. These individuals meet as needed to decide on the proper response to proposals from the President of the World Bank Group with regard to extending loans and deciding upon policies to guide the general operations of the institution. The Executive Director for Southeast Asia, which includes Singapore, is Mr. Andin Hadiyanto.

     

    Shares and Voting Power

    The member countries of the World Bank Group have a given number of shares in the capital of the institution of which they are members; this number of shares determines their voting power when decisions are reached by the Board of Executive Directors.

    Singapore holds 0.02% of the shares in IBRD, with 0.05% of voting powers. It holds 0.10% of the voting power in IDA. Singapore has a 0.01% interest in IFC, with 0.04% of voting powers. Finally, Singapore holds 0.15% of the shares and 0.23% of the voting power in MIGA.

    For the latest voting status, please visit the Voting Powers page.

    For information on Singapore’s aid flows as a donor, please visit AidFlows.

    Last Updated: Sep 30, 2017

LENDING

Singapore: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments



Additional Resources

Contacts

World Bank Group Singapore Office
10 Marina Boulevard, Marina Bay Financial Center, Tower 2, #12-01 Singapore 018983
(65) 6517 1240
Contact
Dini Djalal
Senior Communications Officer
ddjalal@worldbank.org