Singapore is making a stuttering recovery from a year long recession - a recession unprecedented for this South East Asian trade, capitalist, finance, and transportation hub. These days your taxi cab driver will most likely be a small entrepreneur forced out of business or a laid off middle manager. Singapore's safety net - a combination of the governments' EPF pension fund and the cultural expectation that families are expected to take care of their own unemployed, has softened the blow for Singapore as a whole, but has reduced affordability in a population that has grown used to seemingly ever upward prosperity. Singapore's global participation saved it from the effects of the Asian crisis in the 1990's that ravaged Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea, the Philippines and to a lesser extent Malaysia, but exposed it to the global recession and slow recovery of 2000-2002.
Nevertheless, Singapore consumers remain among the wealthiest worldwide and Singapore as a whole is very well placed to take advantage of any global recovery when it occurs. Singapore also remains a highly consumerist and brand conscious market, though it's small population deters many companies with lower value services and products from investing in marketing strategies exclusively for Singapore.
Singapore also remains a high cost, high value market. Many price-conscious businesses are now eyeing competitive markets like Malaysia purely on a survival cost saving basis, and several have already made the move.
At the time of writing, Singapore's stock market shows no substantial signs of recovery, indeed the 3 month trend is downwards. While Singapore remains a healthy market, and a good place to do business, some marketers may be inclined to do what smart Singaporeans are doing now with the strong encouragement of their government - looking outwards to developing markets with higher long term profit potential.
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