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Country Fast Facts:Singapore


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Singapore was founded as a British trading colony in 1819.

When the main island was colonized by the British East India Company in 1819 it contained a fishing village sparsely populated by indigenous Malays and Orang Lauts at the mouth of the Singapore River.

The British used the position as a strategic trading outpost along the spice route.[1] It became one of the most important commercial and military centres of the British Empire, and the site in 1942 of what Winston Churchill called "Britain's biggest defeat" at the hands of the Japanese.

Occupied by the Japanese Empire during World War II, it reverted to British rule in 1945 and was later part of the merger which established Malaysia in 1963.

Two years later it left the federation and became an independent republic on August 9, 1965. The new republic was admitted to the United Nations on September 21 that same year.

Singapore subsequently became one of the world's most prosperous countries with strong international trading links (its port is one of the world's busiest in terms of tonnage handled) and with per capita GDP equal to that of the leading nations of Western Europe.

Source: CIA World Fact Book