Interesting Take On Singapore And Japan

Simon Black is an extremely well-traveled international entrepreneur and investor and runs his own blog:

In his latest posting, he highlights Singapore’s visionary purpose of attracting foreigners to relocate to our Little Red Dot while comparing Japan’s lack of vision in a similar situation that could have very diverse long-term ramifications. Here is the key extract of his posting;

It’s amazing how so many governments don’t get it… going out of their way to repel or even prevent talented foreigners from settling, as if the fundamental freedom to work hard and prosper is somehow derived from bloodlines, ethnicity, or irrelevant, invisible lines on a map.

These governments will figure out soon enough that labor and intellectual capital are easily exportable assets. Some governments like Singapore, Estonia, and Chile understand that truth, and they’ve laid out incentives to compete for foreigners and establish conditions for long-term growth.

Singapore’s open, mutli-lingual, multi-cultural society is well-equipped to deal with the matter… and given the host of residency incentives that it already provides to talented foreigners, I suspect this free market approach will become a model for global migration and population stability.

One would think that the Japanese government would be rolling out the red carpet for young foreigners, yet Japan remains a fairly closed society. Foreign residents comprise less than 2% of the population according to government statistics, not enough to even qualify as a drop in the bucket.

Without serious addressing this issue and attracting young foreigners both at the economic and cultural level, Japan runs substantial risk of fading into obscurity.

For the full posting, click here: Japan Is Causing Its Own Demise

On an interesting side note, Simon mentioned how Singapore grew into today’s “modern, developed economic powerhouse” in three decades. If you thought that was impressive, take a look at at Shanghai in 1990 …

…and now in 2011 …

… is this a growing economy or a bubbling one? This sort of advancement makes Singapore really look like a backwater nation if you consider that Shanghai did it in less than 2/3 of the time we did.

Now consider this – will China’s “growth” be sustainable given their population size if they don’t attract foreigners or make their market more foreigner friendly and regulated?

Right now, it would seem that the world is doing business in China because they have to and not because they want to. Sounds like how Japan started, doesn’t it? China’s inflationary and growth rates are going through the roof in a hurry. Sounds like how Japan got there, doesn’t it?

I could go on and on but you get the picture.


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when there’s a boom, there will be a burst correspondingly

The Japanese government had been rather inefficient ever since the world entered the 21st century. The Tokyo mayor Ishihara decides it is a good idea to insult animation companies in favour of “superior genetics”, and the major distributors of anime media boycotted the Tokyo International Anime Fair this year, possibly causing it to shut down. It is going to hit the tourism industry hard.

Not only that, the society and businesses aren’t adapting to the new landscape of digital media. Not discounting the Odex case 3 years ago, and the recent case of Funimation (a US media distributor) suing 1337 pirates for pirating anime under the pressure of Japanese producers, it seems that Japan seems to be lagging behind in global reality and change.

S&P cut Japan’s credit rating today. But apparently, it seems that the politicians are still not going to wake up anytime soon.

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