Handbook of Research on Asian Entrepreneurship
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Handbook of Research on Asian Entrepreneurship

Edited by Léo-Paul Dana, Mary Han, Vanessa Ratten and Isabell M. Welpe

Asia is highly regarded as one of the fastest growing regions in the world, and this unique Handbook focuses on the internationalization process and entrepreneurial dynamics of small business within the continent. Using a clear and consistent style, the Handbook examines more than 40 countries in Asia and allows researchers to compare the environment for entrepreneurship, the internationalization of entrepreneurs and the state of small business in different Asian countries. The chapters are authored by well-known scholars who provide insight into how government policies have affected the internationalization of small firms in Asia.
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Chapter 32: Singapore

Wee-Liang Tan and So-Jin Yoo


Wee-Liang Tan and So-Jin Yoo 1. Introduction Perched on an island spanning some 699 sq. km. with a resident population of 3.6 million, it is inconceivable that Singapore could be one of Asia’s leading economies. In 2007 it had a gross domestic product (GDP) of S$243 168.8 and a per capita GDP of S$52 994. It ranks first as the most cost-competitive place for business in the KPMG Competitive Alternatives Study 2006, as the world’s easiest place to do business in the World Bank report: ‘Doing Business 2007: How to Reform’ (www.edb.gov.sg) and seventh in World Competitiveness Report 2007 (http://www.gcr.weforum.org). Entrepreneurs featured in its economic development, together with multinational corporations. Entrepreneurship continues to remain an important part of Singapore’s competitiveness, especially as she strives to be a global hub with an external wing to its economy. Entrepreneurs in the private sector contributed to the development of Singapore’s economy in the colonial days under British rule. With self-government in 1959, public sector entrepreneurship played a greater role (Tsao and Low, 1990). The advent of Singapore’s first recession in 1986 brought to the fore the need for local entrepreneurship. In a master plan for economic restructuring, the Economic Committee charting Singapore’s new economic directions placed emphasis on the development of entrepreneurship and local enterprises (Singapore Economic Committee, 1986). Until the recession, the emphasis had solely been on the attraction of foreign multinationals, with local enterprises playing second fiddle as subcontractors for these multinational companies. With this realization, a small...

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