Singapore at a Glance – Part Two
Trade, together with services such as shipping, storage, banking, insurance, and telecommunications, has given Singaporeans the reputation of being the most highly skilled middlemen team building singapore of Asia. Entrepôt activity, the traditional mainstay of the economy, brought prosperity and one of the highest standards of living in eastern Asia. Singapore did experience an economic slowdown in the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998 and again during a global economic slowdown in 2008-2009. But the government was able to maintain stability in the economy.
When Singapore became self-governing in 1959, its leaders recognized that the commercial sector alone could not sustain the island’s economic growth in the face of rapid population increase and accelerated competition from neighboring countries. Following recommendations made in 1961 by a United Nations survey team, a crash program of industrialization was begun. Dramatic progress resulted as model industrial estates were built, the large Jurong facility becoming a national showcase. Singapore’s success in attracting foreign investment in export-oriented industries was attributed to sound and aggressive planning, its central location, political stability, an excellent service infrastructure, and the availability of a skilled workforce.
As the manufacturing sector developed, the government encouraged investors to establish industries that required more skill and knowledge, paid better wages, and turned out products with a higher value added by manufacturing. The result was a shift away from labor-intensive industries such as clothing and wood products. The opening of the nation’s first casinos in 2010 was expected to increase tourism revenues.
The main production categories are oil refining, transport equipment (especially ship building), electrical and electronic equipment, metal products, nonelectrical machinery, chemicals, foods and beverages, and clothing. Singapore is a world leader in ship repair and in the refining of oil and petroleum products. Its electronics industry has turned from the labor-intensive assembly of components to high-tech manufactures: computers; calculators; telecommunications equipment; and medical instruments. It is also a major manufacturer of pharmaceuticals. Biopolis, a special science city, has attracted leading scientists from all over the world; they include specialists in fields such as the development of new influenza vaccines and stem-cell research aimed at treating diabetes, heart problems, and other diseases.