The President's National Export Initiative (NEI) was foremost in my mind before we arrived in Singapore last month. In my first week on the job, I met with representatives of some of the leading U.S. businesses with operations here to brainstorm about what it will take to meet the ambitious goal of the NEI to double U.S. exports over the next five years. I pledged to the American businesses in Singapore that our embassy would deliver the "Three A's": advocacy, access, and availability. We would provide aggressive advocacy on their behalf to the government, facilitate direct access to Singapore's regulators and that our embassy personnel would be available 24/7.
Singapore has a small population, but it packs a wallop in the trade arena. Singapore is our eleventh largest export market and our largest destination for foreign investment in Asia, exceeding even China. As a major trading hub with the world's busiest container port, Singapore plays host to more than 1500 U.S. companies with substantial operations in Asia. Often, these offices are regional headquarters. The decisions American companies make today for their Asian operations often come out of their Singapore offices.
For U.S. companies thinking of exporting, or seeking new export markets, there are few places better to start than Singapore. Singapore is ranked number one in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business report making it a great gateway for American business in Asia. The country has established trade networks all over Asia. The population is predominantly English-speaking and well-versed in the Western style of doing business.
In the last year, our embassy hosted U.S. Ambassadors to other countries in the region to meet with local U.S. businesses to showcase export and investment opportunities in their countries. I plan to do some traveling of my own this year, as well, meeting businesses face to face back in the United States to promote more exports to and through Singapore. I also hope to lead Internet webinars with U.S. businesses to promote specific industries. This October, we will be working with the American Chamber of Commerce here to organize a regional business conference.
If you are interested in exporting to Singapore, please call 1-800-USA-TRADE or contact our U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service office at the U.S. Embassy in Singapore to learn more about export opportunities and the services we provide. You can visit us online.