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The Singapore success story: public-private alliance for investment attraction, innovation and export development

Publication cover
Corporate author:
  • NU. CEPAL. División de Comercio Internacional e Integración
UN symbol.: LC/L.3150-P ISBN: 9789211217155 55 p. : diagrs., tabls. Editorial: ECLAC April 2010


Singapore has been touted as a success story in the development literature.1 Various theories (Haggard and Kaufman, eds., 1992)2 have been offered to explain how and why the city-state has succeeded, but none of them has received unanimous approval. There is no debate on the success itself, what is at issue is how that success came about and how it has been sustained. For many it is a combination of the right policies and timing; for some, exploitation of a strategic position in the region; and for even others, a one-party dominant political system that allows for consistency in decision-making. The truth probably lies at the intersection of all these various perspectives, for which there is no single unifying theory. And that is the irony and enigma of the Singapore story. This report will look at one of the key elements of the Singapore experience: that of a public-business sector alliance and its wider impact on decision-making and policy implementation within the city-state. We begin with a quick review of Singapore's development over the last forty years and then look at some of the key first principles that animate this success. In particular, we focus on some of the major agencies responsible for charting Singapore's development trajectory and the role that the business sector has played, and continues to play, in the evolution of strategies for growth.""