Singapore is among the global cities of the 21st century that belong to the urban elite (Hales et al. 67). Being a global city, Singapore has the money and power to stay ahead in the global world. A global city embraces integration of economies, cultures, and societies around the world and transfers power and influence to global markets. Technology drives a global city, which allows easier movement of goods, jobs, ideas, people, and money across the world. Globalization also ensures speed in the movement of people, capital, transactions, and communications across the global markets. Among the dimensions used to identify a global city are the political engagement, information exchange, business activity, human capital, and cultural experience. A true global city is one that excels in these five dimensions. Singapore is one of these global cities. Ranked position 8 by the A.T. Kearney index, Singapore continues to excel as a global city surviving the bad times (Ketels et al. 121). This report details the concepts of globalization and competitive advantage of Singapore. It discusses the geopolitics of scarce resources and the impact of identity politics on economic development.
Foreign policy of Singapore
Singapore promotes international relations with other countries of the world despite being a small country. Singapore’s foreign policy is shaped by the positive impacts of economic interrelations and regional institution building. The international relations of Singapore facilitate cooperation with other countries. For other countries to have an interest in the continued survival of Singapore, the country has to remain relevant. Since Singapore is a small country, it is important that it rises above resource constraints and become an internationally acceptable player in the market. Singapore has undergone transformations and it symbolizes a success story of economic growth in the 21st century. Being a small country, Singapore has become a global city through interacting with other international players and benefiting from their successes.
Singapore has experienced a series of success by surviving great external shocks and remaining competitive. The country survived the Asian crisis of the 1997-1998, the dot com crash of 2001 and the Sars of 2003. It has become a leader in the international market through its foreign policy as it attempts to enhance cooperation (Acharya 64). Singapore further facilitates cooperation by providing expertise and financial knowledge to other countries around the globe. Recently, the World Bank group signed an agreement with Singapore that would mark a new partnership for Singapore to offer development solutions around the world. The partnership allows the World Bank to exercise Singapore’s development expertise making the country the hub for knowledge in the world.
The Global Competitiveness Report of 2011-2012 ranks Singapore in the second position after Switzerland (Schwab 45). The report shows that Singapore has become competitive in the globe because it is an emerging market that is able to survive the current shocks in the global market. Among the key patterns of globalization that Singapore has embraced to remain competitive in the market is economic performance. Singapore continues to maintain a top lead in Asia and around the globe as the highest and prosperous performing economy. The high-income levels, basic education, and life expectancy are indicators of Singapore’s high standards of living. These patterns support the transformationalist view of globalization. This perspective emphasizes on profitability but at the same time focuses on the long-term perspective to ensure future success.
Singapore has a transformational perspective because its intermediate indicators not only focus on the current prosperity, but also builds a strong foundation for future prosperity. The key driver of Singapore’s medium-term and long-term prosperity is the integration of the country into the global economy. The position of Singapore in the global trading system is becoming stronger by the day with the country now being a supplier of specialized services to the Asian companies and meeting the final demand of consumers. Singapore remains highly admirable to foreign countries that seek to invest in the country. It is becoming a significant source of foreign direct investment not only to the Asian countries but also to the rest of the world. The country has excellent infrastructure, sound financial markets and efficient government. In addition, the country is open to global competitiveness and has an attractive tax system. These patterns of globalization support the transformationalist perspective because they serve to change the social, political and economic fields of a country.
The concept of winners and losers is subjective as different groups, individuals and societies have different interpretations of what constitutes a winner or loser. Some interpret them as natural inevitable and evolutionary (NIE) while others interpret them as socially and politically generated (SPG) (O’Brien and Leichenko 231). Others interpret winners and losers from the outliers perspective, which acknowledge winners if they have an opportunity to make the right decisions. The process of globalization is diverse and it involves the aspects of economic, social and political perspectives. Looking from the economic perspective of globalization, Singapore’s winners and losers are represented through the NIE economic view. This perspective regards the losses from globalization as short-term as the country expands into the free market. However, in the long-term, everyone becomes a winner after the country expands into the free market leading to higher productivity, greater efficiency and in the end, higher standards of living.
How Singapore has adjusted to the period of G-zero
Singapore has been able to survive most of the instabilities experienced in the world and become an elite global city. The Asian crisis of 1997-1998 shook most of the countries in Asia and the world and so did the dot com crash of 2001. However, Singapore managed to succeed amid these external shocks and instabilities. During the G-Zero period, most world powers seek to outdo each other by aiming for global leadership and focusing on their own policy priorities. The arena in the in the G-zero world eventually becomes a ground for confrontation leading to reduction in the global economic efficiency and growth. Singapore has managed to adjust itself during this period of instability through the availability of high quality human and capital resources at its disposal (Porter 32).
Singapore is open to global competition and this openness has enabled the country to adjust easily to the instabilities in the global market. Singapore has also adjusted to the Beijing consensus, which involves market friendly policies as advocated by the IMF, World Bank and the United States. Singapore has adjusted by currently forming a partnership with the World Bank. Robert Zoellick, World Bank President, and Tharman Shan, the deputy prime minister in Singapore, signed an agreement that will ensure Singapore offers solutions to other countries around the world. The partnership will see Singapore become a hub for knowledge that can provide expertise to the rest of the world (Satnayath 87).
Singapore has gained competitive advantage and become a global city compared to other nations of the world. Among the dimensions embraced by Singapore that make it a global city include the business activity in the country. The country holds various international conferences and allows free flow of large amounts of goods through the ports and airports. The country allows diverse groups of human capital to participate in business and the number of international students in the universities has increased (Porter 67). Additionally, the level of information exchange is excellent as the country uses international bureaus to transmit information to citizens. There is free flow of information in the fastest ways possible. These dimensions indicate how Singapore has developed to become a global city. In 2008, the global cities index ranked Singapore position 7 using five dimensions to make it a global city. Besides, the Global Competitiveness Report of 2011-2012 ranks Singapore in position 2 after Switzerland, which indicates the development of the country in achieving a competitive advantage. These indices also show that Singapore has managed to overcome the geopolitics of energy and other scarce natural resources. Singapore ahs pulled through the instabilities experienced in the world to become a global city. Given that the country is well endowed with natural resources, Singapore has managed to remain competitive in the global world and become an attractive spot for most investors.
Effect of identity politics and Diaspora groups
Singapore experiences political arguments that focus on the self-interests of different groups in the country. These identity politics have an impact on the economic development of the country’s competitiveness. Singapore has different diverse diasporic groups that bring a cultural experience in the country and enhance economic development in the country. The rich culture observed in Singapore not only raises the standards of living in the country but also attracts foreign investments. The result of these investments is economic growth and development for the country and a competitive advantage for the country.
The financial crisis of 2008 affected most countries even those that boasted of a solid financial and economic background. In Singapore, the economic relations between the state and other corporations in the country assisted in economic growth and development after the 2008 financial crisis. These corporations owned most of the means of production and the state worked with them to restore the country’s economic pride (Ketels et al, 99). The market forces of demand and supply also worked for the country in building the economy to high levels. By focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship, the state has been working the state corporations and other privately owned businesses to ensure Singapore retains its competitive edge.
In addition, the country has managed to solve the puzzle of economic development and the future of power. The country focuses on professional governance and management of the private and government companies to ensure the country retains its competitive advantage. To overcome the limitations of small economies, Singapore focuses on selected clusters of logistics and financial services. Paying attention to these factors ensures that Singapore, though a small economy, develops economically and becomes the center of attraction for most foreign companies.
Singapore ranks amongst the prosperous economies of Asia and the world in general. Being a global city, Singapore has managed to go excel and survive most of the turmoil experienced in the global economy. Singapore attracts diverse populations, ensures free flow of information and has world-class infrastructure that ensures it remains competitive and continues to attract foreign investment. Overall, globalization has changed Singapore to prosperity.
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