A brief fiscal history

A view of the Singapore skyline.
A view of the Singapore skyline.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

When the British granted self-government to Singapore in 1959, the city state partly funded its development with external loans from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and British government that peaked at more than $1 billion in the 1970s.

Singapore's fiscal situation improved over time and the need to borrow decreased. Public external net debt dropped to zero in 1995 and has remained at that level since.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 15, 2020, with the headline 'A brief fiscal history'. Subscribe