Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Singapore Diary - Part II

Our discussions next day were focused on the Singapore, how it progressed despite having minimal resources and its development as a major hub for transport. We were surprised with the story of turning itself into a major financial center since its Independence. Probably the single party system played a big role in this. There was a fascinating comparison between roving vs. stationary bandit wherein even if there is a bandit who does not change places, it will be to his benefit that locality grows as he will have more at his disposal for his adventures. Another interesting fact was that there is no multiplier effect in Singapore economy because if leakages in system - hard to believe this for this fast paced economy. One has to appreciate the development advancement and infrastructure in this small city of 710 sq. km where more than 20% land is reclaimed from sea. Not sure how much ecological impact will have on the environment and marine life. 
We had a small talk on the movement of global economy around China and it has taken a shift from the time when it was centered on Japan and US. One astonishing observation was the role China is playing in the development of East Asian countries and how it is benefitting from it. India it seems is being left out because of its foreign policy which is not focused on East Asia. For example, we are not utilizing our historical ties with Myanmar for increasing trade with mineral rich Myanmar while China is making significant inroads because of our lax policy.

Should we invest here?
Post lunch, we had a lecture on the Aviation industry by Prof Anthony Chin, Academic Director for EPGP immersion. He described how aviation industry is fueling economic growth and what are the new models developing. Like what has been implemented in Tiger Airlines where there are charges for every single feature which were earlier considered basics in airline industry. There was an interesting talk on the port development and it’s financing.
I think Singapore has done a commendable job in coming this far. In the words of first PM of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, "there was no secret; we had no choice but to take a chance and sail into rough waters.” There are many lessons to be learnt from Singapore development by other countries like political stability, quality of governance, high salaries to ministers, openness, high cost of rebellion, single party system. We might not agree with all, but this model is effectively working for them.

Lets find some rodents
To surrender or not?
Of course we had our fun moments during the day. Some of us roamed around appreciating the beauty of campus while some were busy shooting rodents. So far, every day is bringing something new about this small country along with interesting cuisine. One thing I got to know is that this country is all about food and people love eating all the time. I have not find so many food joints and restaurants in every nook and corner even in India.

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