Singapore's Foreign Policy Essay

2575 WordsOct 12, 201211 Pages
• Singapore as a player in the region: motivations, rationales and objectives • Major powers in Southeast Asia: big opportunities from big powers • Singapore and the major powers in the region: niches and national interests Singapore as a player in the region: motivations, rationales and objectives As a vibrant city-state, Singapore is a unique place that bets its chances of prosperity more on its geographical position than the natural resources it has been endowed. To gain an insight into the various motivations that drive Singapore’s foreign policy, it is crucial to put into perspective Singapore’s strengths and vulnerabilities. Motivations that call for a comprehensive foreign policy rise mainly from the limitations that Singapore’s opened economy faces. Founded as an entrepôt, Singapore was not meant to engage in large-scale farming or manufacturing activities. The lack of natural resources not only results in a reliance on its neighbouring countries for water, food and energy, but also places Singapore at a different starting point in the realm of international relations. Compared to other countries made dominant in the industrialised world by their resources, Singapore has to create for itself some different stakes in the game of international relations. It is such an approach that calls for a pragmatic attitude in tailoring a unique foreign policy for the island state. What could a young nation possibly use as its stakes in its interactions with the other countries? Being constrained by perhaps the most unconceivable limitations to other resource-rich countries – the lack of natural resources, Singapore has to seek the X factor that is well suited for Singapore. There are two kinds of X factors that Singapore own. Firstly, a geographical position that favours the establishment for a mustering point for goods, services and talents. Secondly, a

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