Most people today think of China when they are asked about successful Asian economies. However, though China has received a lot of attention due to its rapid growth, as well as its geopolitical importance and huge landmass, it is not the only economy in Asia that has been booming. Observers would be wise to note the economic success that has been achieved by the nation of Singapore.
Founded only in 1965, the story of Singapore’s economic development functions as a success story for neo-liberal models of economics.
Singapore has made great strides in developing its economy over its short life as a nation, and that has left many wondering how that is possible. There are several reasons for Singapore’s dramatic economic growth.
Ever since its founding, Singapore has put a large focus on providing high quality education for its citizens. As a result, Singapore was well positioned to take advantage of the tech boom that has been sweeping the globe for the past 20 years. Singapore is a leading Asian force in software and hardware development, robotics, networking, and many other high tech areas that provide tremendous economic benefits. With the government recently announcing new investments in worker training and re-training, it seems likely that this trend will continue.
Singapore has always been focused on technological development. This can be seen today as it is consistently ranked as the most innovative economy in Asia by major international ranking bodies. Singapore has made great strides in robotics. It offers grants and funding to robotics companies to develop new models and to find new applications for the technology. It also provides grants to businesses all shapes and sizes to lease robots to use in order to enhance productivity and profitability. At the same time this also acts to help add fuel to the demand for the robotics companies that it is also helping to facilitate.
Another benefit that Singapore has over many of its Asian peers is that of a reasonably open, transparent government. This openness and transparency helps to draw foreign investment in its economy, while the more dictatorial and communist nations that are around it often have problems attracting investment for development because of the mysterious and opaque government practices that they use.
Situated at the mouth of the Malacca Strait, Singapore also benefits from the natural geography around it. The Malacca Strait sees the passage of a huge amount of world commerce. Being proximate to this major trade route has enabled Singapore to take advantage of advances in shipping, manufacturing, and logistics operations. Additionally, by providing a safe and convenient port, Singapore has become an attractive option for shipping and global freight companies to set up shop. All of these companies bring with the attendant economic benefits of housing multinational companies.
As you can see, there are lots of different factors that come into play when analyzing the economic growth of Singapore. There is no one factor that is more important than the others. All of this goes to show the uniqueness of the Singapore economic phenomenon.