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  • 1960s - 1970s
  • 1980s
  • 1990s
  • 2000s
  • 2010s



Success Begets Success

It was a measure of Singapore's success at industrialisation that led to a new range of economic dilemmas. In the 1980s, full employment spurred high labour turnover as workers had their pick of abundant jobs. High wages and an overvalued currency dragged down productivity, chiselling away at Singapore's competitive edge. In 1985, recession hit the nation for the very first time since independence, and hard lessons were learnt.

To sharpen its competitive edge, Singapore's focus was on improving productivity, shifting the economy towards capital-intensive industries, and pushing companies to restructure and be less reliant on low-skilled foreign workers. JTC embarked on a visionary 10-year Master Plan to support Singapore's move into capital-intensive economic activities. These included electronics, precision engineering and chemicals as well as high-technology R&D and services industries.

Singapore scaled up towards becoming a modern economy driven by science, technology, knowledge and skills. Similarly, JTC adjusted and adapted flexibly to spearhead the building of ground-breaking infrastructure such as the Singapore Science Park and the reclamation of the Tuas "hockey stick."

The fortuitous successes of the 1960s and 1970s sparked the successes of the 1980s as Singapore, JTC and her people forged ahead to be at the forefront of the industries.

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