At a young 51 years-old, Singapore has firmly taken its place as one of the economic super powers of the world. It’s hard to believe that this city-state was once a province of Malaysia and now its central business district rivals that of Hong Kong and HDBs in Singapore have set the standard of living for families on a new level. Many have wondered how a country that was once a fishing village become the vibrant economic hub that boasts one of the if not the best airport in the world, two casino resorts and a collection of top ranking hotels. Singapore’s underdog story has many takeaways, and here is a few:

What We Can Learn from the Success of Singapore 1


Excellent Leadership is Key

Mr. Lee Kuan Yew is well known as the father of Singapore, this man has been an inspiration to many Singaporeans, he helped build a government that was lean and he did not lead this country alone though, by his side were Dr. Goh Keng Swee who was known for his economic ideas and Mr. S Rajaratnan who was known more for his philosophical views. Together the founding fathers of Singapore developed the MPH formula, which stood for Meritocracy, Pragmatism, and Honesty. Meritocracy meant for the nation to choose the best qualified leader there is, Pragmatism meant for Singapore to incorporate strategies that have been a success for other countries already, and Honesty is a quality these leaders exemplified and it is a quality any leader needs to avoid corruption.

Work with What You Have

Singapore is a country that had no natural resources that it could call its own but that did not stop Mr. Lee Kuan Yew from finding a strategy to increase the economic activity in Singapore. Singapore made up for their lack of resources with its strategic location, being located right at the mouth of Strait of Malaca. Singapore quickly became a prominent trading post. Its harbor became a hub for maritime trade, catering to 40% of the world’s total. Even today the maritime trade business still contributes heavily to Singapore’s economy. There is about an average of 91,000 containers that pass-through Singapore daily, so there is heavy traffic in Singapore until today. Singapore has always been known as a link between the East and the West because of its geographic location and historically its trade business. Now it also serves as link not just for business but for cultural and technological advances.

Foreign Investors and Talent

Mr Lee Kuan Yew was looking to the future and welcomed foreign investors to Singapore, encouraging them to invest in Singapore and expand their businesses here. Singapore built an environment that is beneficial for foreign investors given their tax policies, foreign aid policies and schemes as well as the stable financial status. There are any institutions, both private and government-owned that support foreign investors expansion plans and business startups. They also welcomed immigrants to occupy Singapore, knowing that these are not just additional manpower but additional talent that can contribute to the growth of Singapore.

Singapore was not built easily, their awards and recognition was not handed to them. The citizens and leaders worked hand in hand towards one goal. No, Singapore is not perfect but they as a nation set their priorities and worked with what they had to be able to put each other in a position of comfort and success.

About the Author:

justin_headshotJustin is a digital marketing specialist for SEO in the Philippines. He loves staring at large amounts of data while trying to figure out what to do with it. He attempts to write about different topics and blog during his free time while watching anime and TV series. The internet is his playground while the world is his bedroom. He’s still trying to figure out what to do with data.