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SINGAPORE: FROM PYGMY TO TITAN IN 200 YEARS - 15.06.2019

It is hard to believe but there was a time when beautiful city-state-island-garden-playground Singapore wasn’t existing.

When Sir Stamford Raffles, a British official who is considered to be founding father of contemporary Singapore and one of the fathers of British Empire, first landed on the Isle of Singapore in early 1819, he found abandoned place covered by jungles with less than 1,000 inhabitants who made their living from fishing and goat-farming.

It became clear very soon that the place was ideal for establishment a safe seaport, and Singapore started its path to now.

From the very first years, Singapore was depending on migrant workers whose number rose significantly. Island’s population increased ten times in 5 years, by 1825, and 100 times in 50 years, by 1870.

Migrants came to Singapore mostly from mainland China, from neighbor Malay Sultanate of Johore ad from Sri Lanka, forming 3 main ethnic groups which dominate in modern Singapore, namely, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. As the island was a part of British Empire, it was ruled by English-speaking administration. This didn’t change until now: while the country has Mandarin, Malay and Tamil as its official languages, the laws are written in English, the fourth and the main official language.

During colonial period, economic development in Singapore was slower when in metropolitan country. However, it was relatively flourishing place, thus adorable destination to Asian working migrants.

This status was nearly to change in 1950s when British Malaya became self-ruling and Singapore has got its own government as well. Later, State of Malaysia was formed of independent Federation of Malaya and British Crown colonies Singapore, Sarawak and North Borneo (which joined new state as Sabah).

Federation brought heightened tensions between different ethnic groups as Singapore with dominating Chinese population was considered “alien” by federal Malaysian government. Eventually, Singapore has been expelled from federation and proclaimed independence on 9th of August, 1965.

With no natural resources and barely literate population, Singapore’s survival as independent state was questionable at that time. Nevertheless, Singapore government led by Lee Kuan Yew created development program and inspired people of Singapore to fulfil it. Following the plan and hardworking despite fears and tears transformed former colony into the most advanced economy in the world.

In a single sentence, present-day Singapore is known as rich (among top 5 countries with the highest GDP per capita rate) and business-friendly country (now second-best country for doing business after being the best for 10 consecutive years).

In addition to that, Singapore is among top 5 financial centres in the world and among top 3 world’s seaports. Singapore airport is the busiest one in the region of South-East Asia.

Singapore economy is described by experts as the most innovative and competitive, and status of the safest and greenest country makes Singapore a great place to live or visit.

It is sad to say, but even sound scholars often call Singapore achievements “a miracle”. Regarding Singapore success as a miracle, it’s impossible to imagine that it may happen in other country, too.

However, it is just visible part of the phenomenon. The fact is that this particular miracle is a result of joint efforts of the whole nation and its leaders for over fifty years of independence. And this is good news, because Singapore story is about that any achievable dream could be achieved with patience, hardworking and faith.

Singapore on its 200th birthday looks younger, safer, greener, happier and much better place to live than ever.

Singapore is a paradise for industrious, ambitious and goal-oriented people. That’s why thousands of businesspersons choose Singapore as their new home and come to the country every year to turn their ideas into profitable businesses.

But even more people start companies in Singapore and benefit from the best business environment in the world developing their projects in other countries from scratch to the global scale, the same way as Singapore developed its economy during 200 years of its history.