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Small countries with no natual resources usually have to fight harder than most to survive Singapore has taken a carefully-planned approach to economic development- a global warehousing and distribution centre for the Asia-Pacific region Along with these Singapores entrepot trade in rubber petroleum products spices timber manufactured goods and machinery has grown over the decades In addition Singapore is the major shipbuilding ship-repair and oil-rig building centre in South East Asia Although Singapore has no indigenous energy resources its eleven refineries have made it the third largest oil refining centre in the world by capacity after Houston and Rotterdam Singapore has also become a leading financial and business centre International banks insurance companies shipping companies traders and services firms are an integral part of Singapores business environment Singapore has worked hard to become one of the busiest ports in the world in terms of shipping tonnage--with 700 ships in port at any time and with more than 600 shipping lines with links to more than 800 international ports It has no natural energy resources yet it runs more than 10 refineries The pace has been fast and furious with virtually a different focus in each decade of the islands modern history In the 1960s especially in the wake of separation from Malaysia there was a need to create jobs Thus began the day of the labor-intensive industries By the 1970s there was full employment and there was a shift towards higher-skilled jobs In the 1980s manufacturing capabilities were emphasised The focus on manufacturing continued to the 1990s with the addition of the service and electronics sectors By 1993 Singapore had begun to grow its external economy with several investments and cooperative projects in Asia including China Indonesia and VietnamSingapores economy is small by global standards but also relatively rich Its GDP was US141 billion in 1998 and its per capita GNP was US34868 in 1998 In the face of increasing global competition Singapore
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