The move of countries from Third World to First

October 12, 2017 Information Technology

In the words of our Minister Mentor, Singapore has moved from “ 3rd universe to first ” ( Lee, 2000 ) . It has ever been rushing against the clock to turn its economic system and prolong its economic viability regionally and internationally. Hence the preparation of the 1991 Strategic Economic Plan saw “ Maintaining international fight ” as one of its eight strategic pushs ( Peebles and Wilson, 2002 ) . However, another strategic push perchance spearheaded the “ variegation ” of the economic system: Reducing Vulnerability.

This would be a repeating subject that would steer my essay as I explain the effects of the regionalisation scheme, implemented from 1990 to 2004, on 3 facets ; Trade, Industrial Parks and Foreign Direct Investment ( FDI ) while besides discoursing the success rate of how it sustained Singapore ‘s economic fight in Asia during that period and beyond to 2010.


Singapore had mostly depended on trade for its economical growing in its early old ages and has grown to develop a world-class port that has about ever secured the top place globally despite stiff rivals. Though non unbeatable, it is as Peebles and Wilson reference ( 2002, p.159 ) vulnerable for its utmost openness to international trade and heavy ‘dependence ‘ on imports of goods and services. Statistically, this will interpret into a combined ware trade to GDP ratio of 2.48 in 1998 or an addition to 2.86 if services are included. When compared to other Asiatic states, Singapore has the highest dependance on trade ratio. ( Table 1 )

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Table 1: Dependence on trade and international comparings, 1998

Beginning: Adjusted from Peebles, Gavin, Wilson, Peter 2002. Table 7.1, p.160

Since it does imports and re-exports, it needs to guarantee that both the provision states and the demanding 1s with the possible markets are ever available to guarantee economic growing. Thus, Singapore ‘s “ regionalisation scheme ” for trade focused on exporting to Asiatic states chiefly Indonesia which was a cardinal regional trading spouse ( 2002, p.163 ) to cut down its exposure to external dazes. In 2000, there was a recreation of entire exports to the North-east Asiatic Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelams of Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and China and this saw an addition from the 1990s as can be seen from Table 2. In 2005, this intra-regional trade reached 55 % of entire trade grosss. This was compared to the mere 5.6 % of trade with the South-Asian states. ( Rana, 2008 )

Table 2: Singapore ‘s major export markets and beginnings of imports, 1970-2000

( % of entire exports and imports )

Beginning: Adjusted from Peebles, Gavin ; Wilson, Peter 2002. Table 7.3, p.164

Effectss of ‘Regionalisation Strategy ‘

It can be deduced that Singapore had embraced its Asiatic opposite numbers and reaped the benefits from these major export markets via the part of trade to the state ‘s GDP growing. An illustration worth adverting here would be the trade-based integrating between Singapore and Malaysia in electronics. The success rate of this bilateral relation can be measured by the far greater entire exports and imports with Malaysia than with the United States. The augmented production rates, which were a consequence of greater FDIs in Malaysia by Singapore-based houses, US and even Japan 1s, farther strengthened the affiliation. Both states besides made usage of their cardinal places in the electronics arena to harvest the benefits from the 1998 planetary electronics demands hiking.

Singapore gained straight from the planetary demand and indirectly through exports to Malaysia of intermediate and capital goods ( computing machine constituents ) . Singapore ‘s domestic export to Malaysia mostly encompassed petroleum-based merchandises and made up 15 % of the entire exports in 2000. ( Peebles and Wilson, 2002 ) As can be observed, many states chose Singapore for their import demands, hence doing it the figure one exporter in Asia despite other competitory ports in the part like Hong Kong. Singapore ‘s bilateral trade ties non merely reap economical additions for it but open its options for other regional states to organize affiliations with hence giving it the competitory border.

Industrial Parks

Singapore ‘s regionalisation scheme has seen it being keenly engaged in the development of part large-scale industrial Parkss. These undertakings act as a agency for MNCs and local houses to put up productions within the Asiatic part. The industrial Parkss are built to be self-sufficing with all installations at one halt.

One profitable joint-venture would be the industrial base set up in Johor Bahru ( JB ) . Initially that works lacked in proficient and managerial expertness but many MNCs still chose to turn up their operations at that place due to its geographical propinquity to Singapore ‘s managerial and professional expertness. ( 2002, p.190 ) Many local hi-tech houses had extended their fabrication workss beyond its boundaries to JB industrial park to use the first-class substructure built, such as the free export zone and port installations, the cheaper land costs and labor. However, their central offices and research and development activities are still locally based. ( Peebles and Wilson, 2002 )

Effectss of the scheme

Through joint ventures, Singapore is able to do usage of its neighbors ‘ better substructure and land infinite since it is land scarce while they benefit from our proficient expertness and efficient people. Through these ventures, our people can besides derive the on the job experience and better on their working accomplishments to expose enhanced public presentation. With our expertness being in high demand, we seem to be competitively on par or better than our every bit strong neighbors such as Hong Kong, China and Japan. Besides, the new regionalisation scheme encourages our investors and MNCs to set up their production houses in these states due to inexpensive land costs yet hardworking labor.

Small failures

On the other manus, I can non disregard the failures it faced via the joint industrial Parkss in India ( Bangalore Information Technology Park ) , China ( China-Singapore-Suchou Industrial Park CSSIP ) , Indonesia and Vietnam. ( USA IBP, 2009 ) To exemplify I would briefly speak about CSSIP. This park attracted investing committednesss of US $ 2.0 billion from 62 international companies as at May 1996. ( USA International Business Publication, 2005 ) but after 7 old ages of operation, in May 2001, it declared that it had accrued losingss of up to US $ 77 million. Although it had the support of the Chinese cardinal Government, the undertaking was overwhelmed with jobs and one of which was the gap of CCSIP ‘s rival company Suchou New District which gained most of the investings from abroad. Yet, growing was made when the Chinese increased their portion and reduced Singapore ‘s interest from 65 % to 35 % ( 2002, p.190 ) .

Despite this, Singapore remained strong. I feel that the most of import lesson learnt would be to turn up to parts of close propinquity or to travel merely operation/manufacturing workss while retaining the chief operations to the province so as to understate the hazards involved overseas.

Foreign Direct Investment

Sing Singapore ‘s competitory and well-linked economic system, many Multi-National Corporations ( MNCs ) or multinational corporations invest here. Similarly, Singapore has besides contributed FDIs and stock of direct equity abroad. To set it statistically, the entire stock that Singapore had invested abroad stands at S $ 339,979.3 million with the direct investing in Asia entirely S $ 177,125.2 million as of 2009. ( Singapore Department of Statistics, 2010 )

Peebles and Wilson so reveal that in footings of stock informations, the sum increased markedly between 1990 and 1998, with the portion traveling to China up from 1.8 % of the sum to 16.8 % . ( 2002, p.189 ) As of 2000, more than half of the entire stock went to the Association of South-East Asiatic Nations ( ASEAN ) , Hong Kong and China with the head sector being fiscal services since houses have shifted aims from fabrication, existent estate and commercialism after traveling planetary and ramifying out. By 1990, more than 20 % of Singapore ‘s direct equity investings abroad had been to our closest neighbor, Malaysia doing Singapore its biggest investor. ( Peebles and Wilson, 2002 ) Until now Singapore still continues to put in the Asiatic continent.

Effectss of scheme

As can be seen, most of the FDIs abroad seem to be focused on the regional states as Singapore reaches out through its “ regionalisation scheme ” . The important functions that Singapore dramas by puting abroad has enabled it to turn its ain economic system and have a fastness on the part ‘s economic systems since Singapore still channels the major parts of its investings at that place. Hence Singapore can vie with the lifting powers like China and India. A strong economic system gives Singapore an border over the others as more MNCs will take it as their finish for investing.


In a nutshell, Singapore was able to prolong its fight in Asia via its trade, foreign investings and to little extent joint-ventures excessively. Most of its trade with regional spouses, particularly the North-East Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelams allowed rapid growing economically and FDIs enabled a stakehold in the part ‘s economic systems, farther beef uping its ain. Although it faced minor reverses in its joint partnerships, it managed to larn valuable lessons to understate future possible hazards and harness on the strengths from the Singapore-JB industrial partnership.

The regionalisation scheme on the whole may non hold any loopholes but external factors in the host states and external events did non vouch its full success. Nevertheless, Singapore was unfazed by the 1997-1998 Asiatic Financial Crisis or the 2003 “ SARS ” Crisis that affected touristry or the 2008-2009 Global Meltdown because of its diverse economic system which is regionally and globally interlinked and strong leading.

Therefore, my decision would be that the “ regionalisation scheme ” has succeeded in prolonging Singapore ‘s fight in Asia to a big extent during the period 1995-2010.


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