When Gregory Wade left Research In Motion’s Asia Pacific headquarters here last fall, the logical thing to do might have been to pack up his family and head home to his native shore of British Columbia.
Instead, the eight-year expat joined an equity firm and continued preaching the economic miracle of Singapore, coaching Canadian firms looking to set up shop in the region as a vice-president for The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore.
“You will sense a vibe of growth, of energy, a sense of entrepreneurship and the desire and interest to create new and innovative products and services,” said Mr. Wade, who is now managing director of mobility at InflexionPoint Acquisition Corp. “I didn’t get that same vibe in Canada, regardless of locale.”
For a city-state with no resources, limited land and a small population, creating the explosive growth and development of the past half-century has meant running it like a corporation – using highly trained, highly paid leaders, inviting the world’s best and brightest to its work force with an open-door policy, and with a near-zero tolerance for dissent among the masses.
The result is a planned, modern economy with efficient public services, an educated population and a per-capita share of gross domestic product of more than $60,000 (U.S.), the highest in Southeast Asia. Singapore ranks No. 2 on the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness rankings.
Today, as Singapore nears the 50th anniversary of its independence, the original economic miracle is slowing. Hit hard by the Asian financial crisis, the dot-com bust, the outbreak of SARS in 2003 and then global recession in 2008, the city-state is at an economic turning point.
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc