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e-Publication

01 June 2016

Author: Chris PHILLIPS,
Prof., Head of Academic Operations Singapore,
Newcastle University, United Kingdom

According to the Ministry of Trade and Industry Singapore website: «Our vision is for Singapore to be a leading global city with a dynamic economy, worldclass enterprises and innovative and productive SMEs. Singapore will over a conducive environment for entrepreneurs and enterprises to tap its diverse opportunities, and provide good jobs which are attractive to talent at all levels.» Let's start to unpick this and investigate that «conducive environment».

Singapore, which translates as The Lion City, or the little red dot as it is sometimes known, is adiamond-shaped island at the bottom end of Peninsular Malaysia, measuring around 50 kilometres in one direction and 27 kilometres in the other, with a population approaching 5.5 million people, and is just one degree North of the equator. Singapore has relatively few natural resources, it still relies on pumping some of its freshwater supply from Malaysia, and the size of the island has increased via a process of land reclamation by over 20% since the nation state was established in 1965.

The Singapore economy is, therefore, heavily dependent on its human resources. Traditionally this was based on entrepot (import/export) trading. Singapore's main industries are now financial services, manufacturing, and oil refining. The view of the downtown skyline from the top floor of the astonishing ship-shaped structure that is the Marina Bay Sands Hotel is studied with skyscrapers occupied by multinational companies, such as the Overseas Union Bank. Not far away are the Keppel Shipyards, and further away again, Jurong Island, the home of Singapore's petrochemical industry. Almost every where you travel in Singapore you will encounter construction work encompassing new Mass Rapid Transit (MRT –i.e. Metro) lines, public Housing Development Blocks and private condominiums, new roads and flyovers, and, of course, yet more shopping malls (Singapore's main pastime is said to be shopping). Even though there has been a recent slowdown in the economy, this is not evident on the streets of Singapore, and the impression is of a truly dynamic economy. The idea of the development of talent is in bred into the Singapore psyche.

Let's read about it at Carte Blanche Journal N1-2 2016.