Rise of Singapore: Singapore was once struggling in the shadows, now standing tall as one of the Four Asian Tigers or Dragons, alongside Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan. In 2019, it became the world’s most competitive economy, surpassing the United States.
While some see Singapore as a tourist destination, savvy business minds recognize it as a haven with low tax rates and a hub for companies.
But we all know that, until a few decades ago, the story was very different when Singapore was in a terrible state.
The island was once one of the world’s largest slum colonies, with little to no available natural resources, extremely high unemployment, and where communal riots were common.
But today, Singapore is one of the richest countries in the world, and it may surprise you to know that it has more millionaires per capita than any other place in the world. The billionaire club has even expanded from 34 members in 2022 to a whopping 41 this year.
So, what led them here in just four decades? Keep reading to uncover the secrets of Singapore’s success.
Table of Contents
I. Strategic Location
One of its major strengths is its location, making it a perfect centre for global trade and business.
The island is located on a valuable trade route called the Maritime Silk Road, which connects Asia to Europe, and is strategically positioned in the middle of Southeast Asia as a trading and logistics hub.
Singapore’s location, within a six-hour radius of any Southeast Asian country, makes it an ideal hub for accessing the region and its growing consumer market.
Notably, the Port of Singapore is the world’s busiest transshipment port.
II. Electronics and Hardware Industries
The major exports of Singapore include electronics, chemicals, and services.
Electronics is the main industry driving Singapore’s economic growth, contributing 8% to the country’s GDP. In 2020, out of $17.2 billion in fixed asset investments, electronics made up nearly 38% of the total investments.
The country has 8 of the top 10 fabless semiconductor companies and 12 semiconductor assembly and test operations, including 3 of the world’s leading outsourced semiconductor assembly and test companies.
Singapore also has the world’s largest Hard Disk Drive (HDD) factory.
III. Solved the Housing Problem
Along with all of this, the Singapore govt. resolved the biggest problem for its people, which was – housing.
Back then, Singapore was once a country with the highest number of slum areas due to a large population of lower-income residents. In the 1960s, just 9% of the population lived in public housing. However, today, over 89% of Singaporeans have their own houses.
Thanks to the housing development policies of the housing board, Singapore transformed into a megacity, helping its citizens move out of the slums to well-planned housing facilities.
This, combined with improved job opportunities, significantly enhanced the living conditions for locals.
Who led this Economic Transformation?
After its independence in 1965, the former British colony evolved into a major manufacturing and financial centre, and Lee Kuan Yew was the man behind this economic transformation.
When the govt. liberalised industries like finance, telecom, trading, etc. after the initial post-independence recession in the 1980s, it facilitated economic growth.
With a population of 5.92 million people, the GDP of Singapore since its independence has increased from $0.97 Billion in 1965 to $466.8 Billion in 2022.
Singapore is projected to surpass Australia and have the highest share of millionaires in the adult population in Asia by 2030, according to a report by HSBC.
Written By Shivani Singh
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