THE MODEL OF EFFICIENCY . . . AND SOMETIMES BOREDOM!
By far the richest country in Asia is Singapore. Of course, it’s kind of like saying that Iceland was one of wealthiest country in Europe for a few months in the 2006 to 2009 period. Singapore is small, very small. Its population could fit in a small Chinese city, with room to spare. At just under five million people, including all the maids from the Philippines and Indonesia, the country barely registers on Asia’s population map. But, through sound fiscal, monetary, economic, and social management Singapore has risen from a backwater 40 years ago to a country that has a greater income per capita than 90 percent of the world. One might argue that it is only possible in places with small, controllable populations, and one would probably be right.
You still can’t buy chewing gum in Singapore, jaywalking will cost you a stiff fine, if you’re caught spraying graffiti you will be caned, and if you are caught with narcotics you’ll be put to death. If you can avoid those infractions and live with the stifling heat and humidity, Singapore is a good place to grab a couple of days of R&R on any Asian trip.
Where it shines though is as an investment destination. One would think that a country that has greater GDP and income per capita than most of the world, a AAA rating, a strong currency, a strong and transparent government, fiscal discipline, and a diverse but happy population, should have no place being an emerging ...