Singapore is widely referred to as The Little Red Dot because of its incredibly small size. The country is marked by a red dot on most global maps because it is simply too small to feature as an illustrated region. This tiny island began its existence as an independent country in 1965, and back then it didn’t seem destined to mark its presence in the world. The employment rates were at an all-time low, the currency didn’t hold much value and there were almost no natural resources. Fast forward to today: Singapore is one of the most prosperous, thriving countries in the world. It has become a financial giant, an ecological warrior and an innovation powerhouse.
Compare New York with London. The architecture of a city defines its atmosphere and reflects its character. This is no different with Singapore. Take a trip to Marina Bay: The Marina Bay Sands hotel, for example, is inspired by a deck of cards: three card-like towers uphold a rooftop garden which holds resemblance to a giant boat. The Esplanade, Singapore’s main theatre and arts venue are designed in the shape of a giant Durian fruit.
Search further away from the city and you’ll find the Supertrees – Singapore’s main nature park. These 25 to 50-metre towers look like huge trees and have plants interwoven into their structure, creating a half-metal, half-plant towers which are both architectural delights and ecological habitats for birds and wildlife.
These projects required large amounts of funding, and money doesn’t grow on trees. When Singapore first gained independence in 1965, the country had high levels of poverty and unemployment. Over a third of its citizens living in slums on the outskirts of the city and the GDP per capita was US$516.
Enter: Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first prime minister – known to Singaporeans as the Founding Father. His vision for the country placed emphasis on economic growth, entrepreneurialism and utilisation of the country’s ports. His vision has clearly been realised today: Singapore is now a financial giant with one of the highest per-capita GDPs. Furthermore, Singapore is widely considered to be the world’s most stable economy.
Undoubtedly, the extraordinary advancement of Singapore has ultimately relied on investment in its people. In the words of Lee Kuan Yew, “A nation is great not by its size alone. It is the will, the cohesion, the stamina, the discipline of its people… which ensure it an honourable place in history.”
This ethos is seen in many of the country’s policies, including its work schemes where internships and investment in global workplaces are encouraged across all sectors. It is these kinds of initiatives that help to better the development of Singapore. The whole ethos of the country relies on an emphasis that its people should act together for the nation. Nowhere is this greater seen than its diversity law which states that no majority of any ethnic group is allowed to dominate any given area. The country is structured to act as one.
The advancement of Singapore has seen its transition from a third world country to an innovative first world country in one generation. This progression is reflected across the nation; in its wonderfully unique architecture, in its stable, first-rate economy and through the togetherness of its people.
It is hard to imagine another country that will achieve what Singapore has since it gained its own independence, especially considering its size. It has managed to implement a structure, in which, it has advanced itself beyond recognition whilst also establishing its own individual identity.
Put simply: Singapore may be a tiny island, but it’s definitely got the world’s attention.
If you are interested in discussing any roles available or hiring plans in respect of Cobalt's Singapore operations, please contact the Singapore office.
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