Singapore going the way of Venice into obscurity?

8833

The Edge Singapore, a business and investment weekly, published an article titled ‘Is Singapore sailing down the way of Venice?‘, which compared the two cities and wondered if Singapore is destined towards obscurity.

The article pointed out that Venice, was one of the wealthiest states in Europe up until the 15th century, but when the Mediterranean routes quietened Venice’s port became irrelevant. The present day Venice is just a tourist attraction and a perfect out-in-the-open movie set.

Highlighting the container volume which the port of Singapore handles, which it said is a ‘broad indicator of physical trade’, the magazine asked if Singapore is sailing down the same route.

“Singapore’s container volume looks set to end 2016 down for a second year. From January to November, container volumes declined 1% y-o-y to 27.85 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). While the number is an improvement from the 8.7% drop recorded in 2015, economists have already trimmed their 2016 and 2017 forecasts going into the New Year.”

Saying Singapore’s projected economic growth is set to grow at a mere 1.4 percent causing some economists to dub the Republic the new sick man of Asia; the article said that China flexing its political and economic muscle across Asia doesn’t do Singapore any favours either.

China backed projects in Asia, like the $13.86 billion joint-venture Melaka Gateway, may interfere with Singapore’s growth trajectory and move the country from its pole maritime position in the region, the magazine said.

The writer of the article noted the infrastructure arms race in Singapore and the building of a mega-port in Tuas, but wondered if this was the best way to maintain Singapore’s lead as a maritime nation.

“Construction of a mega-port in Tuas has already begun. The first phase will be completed within the next decade and the entire development is scheduled to take place over three decades.
The new port will have a total capacity of 65 million TEUs — double the 30.62 million TEUs the country handled last year.
But is an infrastructure arms race the best way to maintain Singapore’s lead in the business of trade?
Experts say Singapore will need more than just a bigger port.”

The full article may only be accessed via its print publication which is available at newsstands.