Singapore still depends on world for growth

The ArtScience Museum with Central Business District skyscrapers in the background.
The ArtScience Museum with Central Business District skyscrapers in the background.PHOTO: ST FILE

Singapore may be rich in terms of gross domestic product, but it cannot be considered a developed country as it lacks depth in research and development, and other capabilities that will ensure continued demand for our goods and services (S'pore does not exploit WTO provisions for developing nations, July 28).

A developed country is not dependent on the world economy.

But as a small country, Singapore relies on foreign capital, direct investment and exports for its growth.

As a small, open economy with no natural resources, Singapore is vulnerable to international shocks and is hence unable to compete in the super league.

If we are a developed country, we would not fear losing our status as a manufacturing base when companies relocate to lower-cost neighbouring countries.

Singapore also does not want to lose its comparative advantage to newly industrialised and emerging countries before it can reach the stage where it can compete in the super league in technology and skill-intensive industries.

Cheng Choon Fei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 02, 2019, with the headline 'Singapore still depends on world for growth'. Print Edition | Subscribe