The Business Times

A second Singapore

Creating 'another Singapore' elsewhere would help us overcome our land and labour shortage. BY TEH KOK PENG

Published Wed, Oct 8, 2014 · 09:50 PM
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THE term "global city" has been much bandied about in recent years. Singapore aspires to be one. Some think Singapore is already one. The concept of Singapore as a global city goes back much earlier than many of us realise. In 1972, Singapore's first Foreign Minister S Rajaratnam addressed the Singapore Press Club.

He said: " . . . But times are changing and there will be less and less demand for the traditional type of entrepôt services that Singapore has rendered for well over a century. Its role as the entrepôt city of South-east Asia, the market place of the region, will decrease in importance. This is because Singapore is transforming itself into a new kind of city - a Global City. It is a new form of human organisation and settlement that has no precedent in mankind's past history. People have become aware of this new type of city only very recently. They have found a name for this distinctive type of city. They call it Ecumenopolis - the world-embracing city."

When Mr Rajaratnam spoke, Singapore had already put in place a whole slew of policies that made it very attractive to international companies and financial institutions. He described the favourable developments that were already taking place. In particular, he focused on the role that Singapore would play in the international supply chain that was already developing in Asia.

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