By Zahara Zuhair
Sharing Singapore’s growth experience at the IPM National HR Conference 2016 held in Colombo recently, Singapore Human Resource Institute (SHRI) President Erman Tan said that the key factor behind their country’s success was its ideal leadership planning and political successions.
“A key tenet of governance in Singapore has always been to ensure that good people will be in-charge. The bedrock of our success lies in the faith maintained between the government and its people,” he said..
At the conference, he shared about the opportunities and challenges Singapore had faced throughout the years and its future directions while acknowledging Singapore’s First Prime Minister also known as the founding father of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew’s leadership.
He said that Lee Kuan Yew believed that the quality of a nation’s manpower resources is the single most important factor determining national competitiveness and it is the people’s innovativeness, entrepreneurship, team work and work ethics that give them sharp keen edge in competitiveness.
Tan stated that Singapore’s national pledge is to live as one united people, regardless of race, language or religion, to build a democratic society based on justice and equality so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for their nation.
Taking back to 1965, he said that then Singapore had no natural resources, no hinterland and no industry, where they were depending on the outside world for food, energy and water. He said that industrial strife was common and unemployment was close to nine percent as it was a third world nation with poor infrastructure and limited capital.
He said that ‘Singapore’s Tripartite Model’ (government, employers and unions), which is uniquely based on trust, had helped boost their economic competitiveness, and promote harmonious labour-management relations which has contributed to the nation’s overall progress.
Pointing out how Singapore’s economy developed over the years he said that it was mainly based on labour, skill, capital, technology and knowledge.
As a result, he noted that Singapore’s per capita income has shot from $500 in 1965 to $55,000 today, the largest increase any newly independent nation has enjoyed.
Revealing Singapore’s recent rankings he said that the country has been ranked as the world’s third largest financial centre, most liveable city, easiest place to do business in the world, second most competitive city in the world etc.
Talking about Sri Lanka’s and Singapore’s relationship, he said that the economic links between Singapore and Sri Lanka have been growing organically, but are still far from their full potential.