From its earliest days as a British outpost, Singapore has relied heavily for its economic survival on its position as an entrepot trading centre. In the first decades after independence in 1965, economic strategy was focused on building infrastructure, attracting foreign direct investment, and export-led growth. The political commitment to openness in both trade and capital — and, more recently, labour — is one of the key features of a strategy that has delivered remarkable returns in terms of the economic well-being of the people of Singapore. Between 1961 and 1996 GDP per capita grew at an average rate of 10.4 percent a year (Ho and Hoon, 2000), vaulting the country into the ranks of the developed economies. However, until recently, the role of small and medium-sized enterprises, insofar as they featured in this strategy, has been secondary. They were primarily the local links of the supply chains of the multinational corporations which had set up operations in the country. Nonetheless, in this capacity, they benefited from having largely assured demand for their products, and were often also recipients of technology transfer.
SMEs, Singapore, entrepreneurs
Asian Studies | Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations
Strategy and Organisation
The Role of SMEs in National Economies in East Asia
HARVIE, Charles; LEE, Boon Chye
City or Country
LEE, Boon Chye and TAN, Wee Liang.
Small and Medium Enterprises in Singapore and the New Economy. (2002). The Role of SMEs in National Economies in East Asia. 374-369. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/lkcsb_research/2118
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