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The Republic of Singapore: Informed Questions

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Singapore is a modern miracle and an unlikely success story. A tiny island city-state of only 263 square miles just over 3.5 times the size of the District of Columbia, its population of roughly 4.4 million makes Singapore one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Yet despite its size and paucity of natural resources, Singapores strategic location at the maritime crossroads of Southeast Asia, along with its industrious population and political stability, have given it economic stature disproportionate to its small size. According to CIA estimates of purchasing power parity, Singapores 2001 annual per capital GDP of US 24,700 is the third highest in Asia after Japan and Hong Kong and among the 20 highest in the world. A survey reported in the March 2002 issue of The Economist ranked Singapores quality of life above that of London and New York. Situated on the major sea lane linking the Indian and Pacific Oceans, through which more than half of the worlds merchant shipping tonnage moves annually, Singapore is the worlds busiest port and second-ranked containerized cargo transshipment center. Touting Singapores advantages as a reputable financial center and top location for foreign investment, the Singapore Economic Development Board proudly cites the findings of a 2002 survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit that Singapore has the best business environment in Asia, and of the World Economic Forums Global Competitiveness Report 2002-2003 that Singapore was rated the most competitive Asian economy. Singapores government although a functioning parliamentary democracy with an enviable reputation as nearly corruption-free is widely regarded as intolerant of dissent, rigidly insistent on conformity, paternalistic in its direction of social as well as economic policy, and resistant to Western-style individual freedoms.

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  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science

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