Sustaining Singapore's flourishing economy
By Isaac Jackson
When my parents visited Singapore, they were amazed to hear that the airport occupied 25% of Singapore's total land. The country is approximately 275 square miles and smaller than the state of Rhode Island. Despite their relatively small size, Singapore's thriving economy continues to maximize their limited space. How did they do this and how will they continue grow in the future?
80% of housing in Singapore is owned by the government. In every complex, they force different cultures to create communities with one another. These communities have everything needed, including schools, medical care, shopping, and recreation centers. This decreases the amount of travel in the country which is important to prevent traffic jams. The significant availability of rental housing leads to decreased homelessness because everyone can rent from the government at a low rate, and it also prevents overpopulation. This affordable housing helps to increase consumer spending because people have more disposable income to allocate towards goods and services.
While serving at a college ministry in Boston, my parents met a young lady from Singapore who studied at Harvard. She shared with them that the Singaporean government paid for her education, and in return, she was required to work for the government for seven years. However, the investment paid off as twenty-four years later she is still living there. Gaining these top-of-the-class employees drastically improves Singapore's economy. The country relies upon international trade to sustain their economy. An educated labor force increases innovation and helps establish Singapore's position as a global trading hub by attracting foreign investment.
To sustain this thriving economy, ensure long-term economic growth, and not fall behind, I would recommend three things: increased participation in the labor force, adaptation to technological advancements, and optimizing the use of limited land. Singapore is an ageing nation, and continuing to have the older people stay in the workforce is essential to increase productivity which will lead to economic growth in the future. With an older workforce, they need to be able to adapt to constant technological advancements.
If they don't, other countries could surpass them, and they will lose foreign investment in their trading port which is a staple for their economic growth. In order to not fall behind, they must maximize productivity by continuing to optimize the use of their limited space. Through investing in transportation and building vertical structures, Singapore can proceed to grow economically.
Even though Singapore has a steadfast economy, maintaining this growth will be difficult with the ever-growing population from immigrants. Their international trade is vital to securing long-term economic growth.
This is Isaac Jackson's first contribution to Enter Stage Right. (c) 2023 Isaac Jackson.