chapter  12
13 Pages

Singapore’s story: A port city in search of hinterlands

WithTAN TAI YONG

Unlike a number of earlier prominent Asian port cities that have been ‘bypassed by progress … and which have become cultural and economic backwaters’ – Surat, Melaka, and Foochow, to name a few – Singapore stands as a classic example of a colonial port city that has managed to evolve into a global metropolis. From a traditional entrepôt port city serving regional trading networks, Singapore has metamorphosed into a city-state whose economy, inextricably linked to an international system driven by commerce and enterprise, is sustained and nourished by global economic conditions.