Publication Type

Conference Proceeding Article



Publication Date



One of the most affluent and developed nations in its region, the city-state of Singapore relies largely on tapping global resources for economic growth, to ameliorate its tiny land area and accompanying lack of natural resources. Its current prominence is to a great degree owing to an early recognition of the need for such, and a well-documented stratagem of expanding its foreign direct investments (FDIs) as a means to stimulate economic development (Huff, 1995; Murray and Pereira, 1995) and strengthen the city-state’s ‘external economy’ - one which saw the island progress through a number of distinct phases of overseas investment initiatives, each with its own successes and inevitably, failures; the city-state itself taking away, in each case, lessons to be learnt therefrom. Initial ventures in North America and Western Europe, attempting to expedite access to new technology and markets, proved largely unprofitable, suggesting efforts were best refocused elsewhere (Sitathan, 2002). A shift occurred towards regionalization, with a refocus on opportunities within Asia, particularly in China, Indonesia and Vietnam (Tan, 1995; Okposin, 1999); this was embarked upon largely under the aegis of government support, through the vehicle of state-sponsored industrial townships, negotiated upon at a state level and managed heavily through government-linked companies (GLCs). This was to ultimately achieve much more positive, although yet somewhat mixed, results, as described in our older research, and was to also provide a number of invaluable and cautionary lessons as to the exportability of Singapore-styled business practices and systems to foreign cultures (Yeoh et al, 2006; How & Yeoh, 2007) – which, in short, was that wholesale exportability was less than tenable in the long-term.


Singapore, economic development, regionalization, internationalization, foreign direct investment


Asian Studies | International Business | Strategic Management Policy

Research Areas

Strategy and Organisation


The Rise of Asian Firms: Strengths and Strategies


Chan, T. S.; Cui, Geng




Palgrave Macmillan

City or Country



Academy of International Business. Southeast Asia Regional Conference 2013, December 5-7, Bali, Indonesia