Also celebrating a birthday this week, Singapore has polished off its 45th anniversary in style as it leaves behind its largest recession since independence and continues to set new records in growth, employment and even tourism.

As one of the world’s only true independent city-states with a unique multi-cultural population and a location in the center of a dynamic yet often volatile economic region, Singapore has always attracted interest beyond other countries its size. But the Singapore of 2010 has grabbed even more headlines with economic growth at around 18% in the months to July (the IMF projects only Qatar may beat that). The Straits Times stock index performed better than others in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan. Large export increases have seen a currency revaluation and tourism is suddenly a major industry thanks to image-changing development such as the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort. Around 63,000 new jobs have been created in the first half of this year. As well as tourists, large influxes of immigrants chasing these good times are altering Singapore’s image and culture even further, to mixed reactions from locals.

Some point out that Singapore’s size means it’s particularly vulnerable to business cycles, and like others is dependent on the United States’ continuing to grow, which has begun to appear uncertain. Prime Minister Lee Hsieng Loong has warned he expects the economy to “moderate” in coming months. The government has also taken steps to benefit from current opportunities without allowing the economy to overheat, but says the foreign worker influx is necessary to make up for labor shortfalls and deepen Singapore’s talent pool overall.

source & article: Bloomberg