Singapore economic development journey was not paved. Today Singapore vibrant economy is considered short of a miracle. Despite the many obstacles facing them, Singapore managed to attain prosperity in a short span of time.
The island city has around 4 million inhabitants. This state being the tiniest in the whole Southeast Asia, the space for its people is quite cramped. Most Singaporeans live in tiny apartments and ride in public transportation daily.
In 1819, Europeans settled in Singapore. The British East India Company, managed by Sir Stamford Raffles, created a post for spice trading. Singapore became a commercial and military center of the British Empire in Southeast Asia.
After World War II, Singapore experienced marked changes in technology and in politics. The small island-state decided to implement industrialization in the 1950s. The Singaporeans decided that it is time to separate from their role as entrepot.
The government wanted to turn Singapore into an industrialized economy. Their first priority to attain economic development was to help people find employment.
The highly skilled manpower provided the key to Singapore economic rise. In 1960s, unemployment problem was effectively contained when Singapore became the nation with the lowest unemployment rate in Asia.
Singapore became independent from Britain in 1963. Singapore formed a federation with Malaya, Sabah, and Sarawak to form part of Malaysia. It did not work out, as two years later, Singapore break away and became a republic.
Skilled labor and technology were central to the government plans in the 1970s. They also shifted their focus to the rising industries at that time such as petrochemicals, electronics and precision machinery. As more foreign investments entered the country, industrialization became a distinct reality.
The government introduced some changes in 1979. Its policy geared towards low-wage earners was changed to accommodate capital-intensive industries. The 1980s saw the growth of foreign invested industries such as computers, electronics and automotive, pharmaceuticals, optical and other growing industries.
When recession occurred in 1985 to 1986, Singapore concentrated on turning the country into an important manufacturing and communications center for investors.
The Economic Development Board (EDB) in the 1960s promoted industrialization according to the strategies created by Dutch economist Albert Winsemius. But towards the 1990s, the Strategic Scheme Program (SEP) in 1991 was more intent on developing the education and human resources sector to support the export industry. EDB up to this day is still in charge of the promotion of business in Singapore.
Singapore cost of living had improved drastically in these last few years particularly after they gained independence from Britain. Foreign investments and the government efforts to push industrialization turned the island nation to a progressive country now.
Currently, Singapore ranks fifth wealthiest country in the world as per GDP (PPP) per capita. The official reserves of Singapore as of January 2009 was pegged at US$ 170.3 billion.
Contemporary Singapore has reached heights beyond expectations. The huge success it attained help people enjoy prosperity and financial security. Singapore economic development is the result of people persistence and unwillingness to let go when faced with adversity.
By casc from Pixabay