With a per capita GDP of less than $320 in the 1960s, Singapore was a developing nation. It now has one o f the strongest economies in the world, with a per capita GDP that has skyrocketed to an astonishing $60,000. It has one of the world’s fastest growing economies right now. For a small nation with scant natural resources, Singapore has undergone an extraordinary economic transformation. Globalization, free-market capitalism, education, and pragmatic policies have allowed the country to rise above its geographic limitations and assume a prominent role in international trade.
Gaining Independence: For more than a century, the British controlled Singapore. Singapore became independent after the British were unable to protect the colony from Japanese control during World War II, which sparked intense anti-colonial and nationalist sentiments.
On August 31, 1963, when Singapore proclaimed its independence from British authority and merged with Malaysia, the Federation of Malaysia was established. Singapore’s two years in Malaysia were difficult, marked by social unrest as both sides struggled to adjust. Street riots and violence became frequent occurrences. Malay politicians were worried that their political philosophy and cultural identity would be threatened by the growing Chinese population on the island and peninsula. Kuala Lumpur had a preponderance of Malay people, while Singapore had a larger Chinese population. As a result, the Malaysian parliament adopted a motion on August 9, 1965, to exile Singapore, electing Yusof bin Ishak as the city-state’s first president and Lee Kuan Yew as its prime minister.
Challenges after freedom: Singapore faced a variety of obstacles after gaining its freedom. In the city-state, the unemployment rate exceeded two thirds. The majority of people lived in slums and unofficial settlements on the outskirts of the city. The larger, unfriendly nations of Indonesia and Malaysia encircled this region. Natural resources, hygiene, suitable infrastructure, and water supplies were all in short supply. Lee begged for assistance from outside to encourage development, but his pleas went unanswered, leaving Singapore on its own.
Globalization of Business and Industry: During the colonial era, entrepot trade constituted the majority of Singapore’s economic activity. However, because of limited economic activity, there was minimal potential for job creation after independence. After the British returned, the nation faced with high unemployment rates.
Launching a comprehensive industrialization program with a focus on labor-intensive industries was the best method to handle Singapore’s economic and employment issues. Sadly, Singapore lacked a strong industrial past. The bulk of those who were employed worked in trades and services and lacked any specialized skills. Singapore additionally needed to go outside of its borders for opportunities to spur industrial development because it lacked a domestic hinterland and trade with nearby countries.
Due to pressure to provide jobs for their residents, Singapore’s policymakers began experimenting with globalization. Israel’s evolution from a nation flanked by hostile Arab neighbors to one doing business and trade with Europe and America inspired Lee and his colleagues. They understood that in order to convince multinational corporations to settle in Singapore, they needed to build relationships with the developed world.
The growth of Singapore: Despite its small size, Singapore has risen to become the only 15th-largest trading partner of the United States. The country has strong business ties with several South American, European, and Asian nations. Currently, it is home to over 3,000 multinational corporations, which account for more than 75% of direct exports and manufacturing output.
With just 433 square miles of land and a population of 3 million, Singapore produces a yearly GDP of more than $300 billion, or more than three-quarters of all the nations in the world. The third-highest life expectancy in the world is 83.75 years. If you can get used to its strict laws, Singapore is one of the best locations on Earth to live.
Singapore’s willingness to give up some liberties in favor of economic progress is a strongly debated case. Its effectiveness, however, cannot be disputed and challenges conventional wisdom in political science.