Singapore, usually referred to as the city-island-nation, is a rather small country. To put things in comparison, the United States is 9.1 million square kilometers larger than the 725 sq km of Singapore.
However, size didn’t mean much to it and for the man who transformed the entire country. Lee Kuan Yew, the country’s former autocrat leader, is widely known as the man who built Singapore as we know it today. What is Singapore today?
It is one of the richest places on earth, with an economy, employment rate, and life expectancy higher than that of many other larger and developed countries. Let’s see how this was possible for the small island.
Singapore was able to guarantee its independence in 1965. Until then, it was a mere British colony. 1965 was the turning point for the country’s economy. From a colony, it became a significant financial and manufacturing center. But many countries have done that – so why did Singapore succeed?
Well, according to most analysts, it’s because Singapore focused on economic freedom more than any other Asian country. Such extensive economic freedom was possible because taxes were low, businesses were not subject to a lot of capital restrictions, and because of favorable immigration policies.
Moreover, online banking solutions and trading brokers such as Liteforex are also enjoying this kind of freedom, with more and more benefits every single day.
Starting a Business in Singapore
The myth about starting a business in Singapore may not actually be a myth. Enthusiasts claim that you could start your own company there in less than 3 hours. The maximum period is estimated to be of around 4 weeks.
However, most sources state that, if you have everything prepared, then you can be crowned as CEO of your new business in 1 day. Given this, it goes without saying why the majority of startups and companies either start there, relocate there, or decide to open an HQ in Singapore.
The Steps to Success
Naturally, Singapore didn’t instantly become rich after it gained its independence. As mentioned, the man known as Lee Kuan Yew is pretty much responsible for the country’s massive growth. How did he do it – what’s the secret?
- The government ruled by L. K. Yew had the biggest role in this evolution.
- The government had a goal to massively direct state funds into major domestic sectors – such as banking, shipbuilding, electronics, and so on.
- However, they didn’t forget about important human needs. As such, they did their best to ensure health care and housing for the population.
- Last but not least, it is said that Yew built the laws in a way that would attract multinational companies. All of the aforementioned paired with proper labor laws and an overall feeling of peace (and prosperity) paved the way for a highly mature economy.
In short, Singapore enjoyed a leader and a government that wanted to build a better country, based on its economy. This is, as we very well know it, something that most countries don’t enjoy.
Housing Development Policies
In the beginning, Singapore was the country that had the world’s highest concentration of slums. It was all because of the high number of people that lived there. However, due to the housing development policies that were shortly created by the housing board, Singapore changed tenfold.
From a slum, Singapore slowly became a megacity. Citizens were aided to move out of the slums and go into a planned housing facility. People were now living in a better home, in much better conditions, and were able to perform much better.
This affected the working environment and the economy as well. Since people were now living in better conditions, they were able to take much better care of themselves, and their health condition improved. This made it much easier for them to find jobs and boost the overall economy of Singapore.
Development of the Technological Sector
Singapore also placed a lot of its efforts on the country’s technological sector. In time, it became a regional hub working with certain international companies. The Singaporean government also encouraged free trade, which helped the country obtain multiple opportunities for international investment – opportunities that often came from giant companies.
At the same time, the country became a regional point for the Forex exchange. Its GDP significantly benefitted the country in these circumstances.
A Clean Government
Among many other things, the former prime minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew also made a point that Singapore had to be turned around. When it obtained its independence from the British, Singapore was known to be one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Because of this, the country was no longer able to prosper – a fact that kept people living in the slums for quite a long time.
However, with Lee Kuan Yew’s involvement, Singapore now came to be at the top when it comes to anti-corruption. It’s actually one of the top 10 countries that feature little to no corruption. Every economic and financial policy of the country has been geared to keep political turbulence and corruption at bay – preventing it from happening altogether.
As a result, instead of the funds ending up in the wrong pockets, they were allocated so that the citizens could get out of poverty. All extra funds were used to turn Singapore into a highly successful country – one that even surpasses other Asian and European countries in terms of capital units.
With corruption being taken out of the question, people were working on a decent wage – and even the minimum wage was considered enough for people to live a decent life.
The Bottom Line
Singapore is a haven for people of all kinds. Moreover, even if Singaporeans leave their country for seemingly better opportunities, they usually return and contribute to the country’s economy. Probably the best example, in this case, is Razer’s CEO, Ming-Liang Tan who has been constantly and consistently investing in his home country – especially during the pandemic. His anti-corruption movement and policies helped bring the country at a proper balance, where every citizen was looked after and ensured a decent living.
Given the above, it is safe to say that the mentality of Yew passed on to the rest of Singapore and its government. The result is continuous support for the economic sector – and not only.
These are just some of the reasons why Singapore is one of the richest countries in the world – it wasn’t always rich, but the people leading it ensured that it would prosper. And this was because the focus was placed on the people and their wellbeing.