An Institutional Perspective
Chapter 2: Transnational Entrepreneurship in Two Contrasting Asian Contexts: Hong Kong and Singapore
2. Transnational entrepreneurship in two contrasting Asian contexts: Hong Kong and Singapore Both Hong Kong and Singapore develop their economies in speciﬁc historical contexts shaped by the interactions between domestic institutional factors and the world economy. Indeed, any rigorous research on the topic must start from a recognition of the historical structuration of the opportunity of rapid economic growth through export-oriented industrialization and the local response to such an opening of opportunity in the global economy. (Chiu et al., 1997: 8) We did not have a group of ready-made entrepreneurs such as Hong Kong gained in the Chinese industrialists and bankers who came ﬂeeing from Shanghai, Canton and other cities when the communists took over. Had we waited for our traders to learn to be industrialists we would have starved. (Singapore’s Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew; quoted in his memoirs Lee, 2000). INTRODUCTION This chapter sets the empirical context for the next three chapters by examining the broader institutional structures of Hong Kong and Singapore. Though the book does not aim to provide a fully comparative analysis of entrepreneurship in these two newly industrialised economies, it aims to situate later discussion of transnational entrepreneurship in the context of diﬀerent state–society relations and economic development trajectories in Hong Kong and Singapore. My argument here is that diﬀerent home country business and institutional structures have shaped the rationality and behaviour of transnational entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs from Hong Kong and Singapore. This chapter compares key institutional features of economic...
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