Change is an inevitable part of life. It is amply known by one and all that if they want to grow and develop, they will have to learn to change, adapt and upgrade. For any change to occur, there needs to be a stimulating factor that is powerful enough to bring about a revolution in the way people live. Globalisation is one such factor which has helped Singapore economy.
However, if it is globalisation that has brought about the change, or if it is the other way round, is debatable. The result of this phenomenon is that the world has come closer and the way humans think, function and do business is not the same as it was, say about 10 years ago.
The effects of globalisation can be seen in our day-to-day lives. You might live in Singapore but wake up every morning to a British news channel, sip on an American brand of coffee, wear a Swiss watch, drive a German car to work, and have Italian food for lunch. These are effects on a micro level but there has been an impact on a macro level, too. Globalisation touches all aspects of a nation, be it economic, political, or sociocultural. In this post, we look at some of the macro-level effects of globalisation on the development of Singapore.
Impact of Globalisation on Singapore Economy
Singapore is one country that has been able to harness the positive impact of globalisation to build a stable and strong economy. This country has been extremely successful in attracting talent and capital from all over the world and utilising it to turn an erstwhile fishing village into a growth-oriented metropolitan city-state with world class infrastructure. Each year, tourists and entrepreneurs from different parts of the globe throng to Singapore for leisure and business. By opting for an open economy and free trade practices, Singapore has become an important player between two giants – India and China.
Cause for Concern
Singapore’s intimacy with other economies also means that it will not be immune to any shocks to the global economy. On the other hand, the continuous influx of foreign talent in Singapore has affected the scope for employment of the locals. Although the government is now taking measures to change this scenario, a widening income disparity in society has been a worrying factor as economic gains remain unequally divided.
Related Article: Singapore still the most competitive economy in Asia
Impact of Globalisation on Lifestyle
Singapore is hailed as one of the most multicultural nations in the world. People of Chinese, Malay, Indian, American and European origins have made this country their home and have co-existed peacefully for many decades. The larger Singaporean culture, therefore, is a mélange of these individual cultures. People here take pride in observing their customs and traditions and pass them on to their children.
In that sense, Singapore has always been a very traditional society. However, the influence of Western culture has been instrumental in making the people here more open towards accepting different lifestyles. A rise in literacy and income levels has been another byproduct of globalisation. More and more Singaporeans are turning to Western brands as well.
Cause for Concern
Although Singapore, as a British colony, has for long been a westernized country, on the micro-level, many families are keen to keep their familial and cultural traditions alive from generation to generation.
The impact of Westernisation in Singapore is widespread – from the use of English as the official language of business to the architecture and consumption habits. People are found to be redefining their lifestyles – something that was unthinkable a generation ago.
Impact of Globalisation on Education
Over the years, Singapore has created a name for itself in the world of education too. It boasts a robust education system. Students from all over the world choose Singapore for higher education that meets international standards while incorporating Asian perspectives.
From a young age, students in Singapore are encouraged to be competitive and perform well. A major part of the social standing of a person depends on how educated they are, what degree they hold and which institute they graduate from. English is commonly-used in Singapore educational institutions so that students can be groomed to become global citizens. Singaporean schools have also started using a great deal of technology in their teaching methods as well as in conducting classroom sessions.
Cause for Concern
Although the English language has been instrumental in driving the growing Singaporean economy and putting it on the global business map, it is also making it a challenge for Singaporeans to be able to keep their ethnic languages alive. Also, due to the increasing dependency of education on technology, the “human touch” is slowly and steadily diminishing, which can be detrimental to the development of students’ social skills and emotional quotient.
Related Article: Singapore Continues to Attract Education Companies to Establish Here
Globalisation has definitely made the world a smaller place. However, the pluses come with some downsides. In Singapore’s context, globalisation has been a catalyst for economic growth as the city-state straddles between China and India, two burgeoning economies.
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