Breakfast Briefing: “Can Singapore’s Development Story be Copied Elsewhere?”

photo 10 photo 1 photo 4 photo 7 photo 9 photo 6

Since independence in 1965, the city-state has achieved spectacular economic growth and social development. The United Nations’ Human Development Index places Singapore in the ninth position – the highest in Asia. Many of Singapore’s polices are lauded globally: export-oriented industrialisation, a high degree of openness to foreign investment, home ownership for the large majority of citizens, a world-class education system, a low-cost but highly effective public healthcare system, and a social security system that does not burden future generations with increasing liabilities even as the population ages.

Much of this can be attributed to a unique form of governance – what Donald Low has termed the “Singapore Consensus”. Can this model of governance – which has underpinned Singapore’s impressive socioeconomic development – be replicated elsewhere? What useful lessons, if any, can be gleaned from Singapore’s development in the last fifty years?

Dr Donald Low, author of Hard Choices: Challenging the Singapore Consensus, was our guest speaker for this breakfast briefing held on 25 November.