Teacher Journal Opinion Article Within the global economy, Asia is certainly on the rise. Perhaps no other nation is this more evident than in that of Singapore. A recent Wall Street Journal article features the island nation as it has just lost its long time leader, Lee Kuan Yew, who led the country through a period of independence in the 1960s, when he himself was only in his early 30s. He transformed the once British territory into an economic powerhouse that is the dominant player on the global stage that it is today.
The Wall Street Journal feature effectively demonstrates how this one man literarily transformed a nation and, in turn, a region and an entire new generation of Asian people. It is my opinion that this single man, honored time and again this last week since his passing, really should be remembered as spring boarding the Asian Pacific region into the now dominant economic force that it is today. Today, Singapore is home to a variety of ethnic cultures that are both embraced and welcomed into the context of daily life.
The business climate in the country is such that it attracts countless thousands of multinational companies from around the world, primarily because of its favorable trade status and partnerships with many countries, and its liberal economic policies that encourage entrepreneurial thinking and activity. All of this was largely spear headed by Lee Kuan Yew and his aggressive policies dating back to the 1960s. All of this is really quite an amazing feat since we are talking about a country that consists of only about 225 square miles of land, making it about the size of the city of Chicago. In recent years, to further support this truth that the former leader of Singapore should be credited for much of the growth in the region, Singapore was rated as the second freest economy in the world on the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom (Soh 2011).
The country has formed many favorable economic ties with North America and the European Union, and because Lee Kuan Yew stamped out corruption early on in his rise to power, Singapore is consistently rated just behind the Scandinavian region and New Zealand in terms of corruption.
Considering its trade status today, Singapore is the 14th largest exporter and 15th largest importer of goods in the world. Again, this is amazing considering how small the country is. The statistics continue to paint Singapore as true economic force in the global arena as they now have the highest ratio of trade to GDP in the world. That figure currently is placed at just under 410 percent (Quah 2013).
Finally, it should be noted that all of this economic data reveals the truth that Singapore is currently the only country in all of Asia that has attained a credit rating of AAA from all three of the major credit rating agencies in the world, including Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch. Lee Kuan Yew was certainly proud of what Singapore had become and I am sure his fellow countrymen will miss him. Works Cited Quah, J. “Ensuring Good Governance in Singapore”. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 26.5 (2013): 401-420. Soh, E.
“Singapore’s Changing Spaces”. Cities, 28.1 (2011): 3-10.