Chapter 43. The National Innovation System in Singapore

Winston Koh[113] and Phillip Phan[114]

History of technological development in Singapore

For two decades since independence in 1965, Singapore enjoyed a rate of economic growth that averaged 8.5% per annum. Today, according to the Global Competitiveness Report (WEF, 2006) Singapore's economy is consistently ranked in the top 10 globally, often ahead of Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia. Singapore has no external debt, and her foreign exchange reserves, as of the third quarter 2007, is more than US$200 billion (S$1 = U.S.$0.69 as of November 2007), and ranks as one of the highest in the world (IMF, 2007). Singapore's economic development model combines an open-economy framework focused on trade and foreign investments, with strong government involvement in labor, land, and industrial development policies. A simple way to understand the structure of the economy is to think of the economic pie as being divided into thirds, in which one-third belongs to economic production carried out by government-linked corporations (primarily in transportation, telecommunications, and utilities), one-third by the more than 5, 000 multinational corporations spread across more than two dozen service (primarily in banking and logistics) and manufacturing industries, and Another third by local small and medium-sized enterprises (primarily in manufacturing, personal services, banking, and logistics). While this structure has enabled ...

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