Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is an island country and the smallest country in South-East Asia. It is located on the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, south of the Malaysian state of Johor, and north of the Indonesian Riau Islands. It lies 137 kilometres (85 miles) north of the Equator.
The site of several ancient port cities and a possession of several empires in its history, Singapore was a Malay fishing village when it was colonised by the United Kingdom in the 19th century. It was further occupied by the Japanese Empire in World War II, and was later part of the merger which established Malaysia. When Singapore acquired independence, having few natural resources, it was sociopolitically volatile and economically undeveloped. Foreign investment and rapid government-led industrialisation has since created an economy which relies on exports of electronics and manufacturing primarily from its port.