Singapore is a small island state in Southeast Asia. Faced with no natural resources, Singapore is what it is' today because it has strong leadership in the government who boldly implemented ambitious development policies and successfully achieved remarkable economic growth and social stability. In less than four decades since it became an independent state in 1959, its Gross Domestic Product has risen more than ten times to S$16,600 in 1994. During this period, Singapore has constantly maintained rapid economic growth rates, full employment, high productivity, and low inflation rates, except during the 1985/86 recession. This recession highlighted the vulnerability of Singapore to external market forces. It taught the Singaporeans that they cannot be complacent with their economic achievements but need to-be constantly striving to better themselves.
The purpose of this research report is to analyse the trends and policies of Singapore's social, economic and political developments. It attempts to highlight the dynamism of its development strategies using Michael Porter's generic competitive strategy, and to examine the problems and difficulties faced in the process of its national development. The report also shows how and when strategies and economic plans were formulated and implemented, and assesses the pattern of growth.
In this report, Singapore's industrial growth tends to be the main force in the process of economic growth. The continuity of the same political party in the government is a factor that should not be overlooked in order to understand the economic transformation in Singapore. Having the same ruling party in the government has the advantage that its economic policies can be fully implemented without these being aborted when a new government comes into power. So far, its strategies for development have set a model for rapid growth for the under-developed and developing countries.
I hope that the model of Singapore's economic development can used by other countries. It can, for example, be adapted form to the third world countries to speed up their own economic development and raise their standard of living.