About forty years ago, Infrastructure in Singapore was characterized by overcrowding in the city, poor living conditions and obsolete technology. At present the scenario has changed. Today, Singapore is a vibrant city and an important global business hub, with high standards of living and clean and green environment.
The change in the scenario for infrastructure in Singapore did not come overnight. It was a result of proactive and farsighted planning by the Singapore government. Singapore became a testimony to other developing nations, in terms of infrastructure being central to socioeconomic development.
A world class infrastructure facilitates delivery of information, goods and services, fuels economic growth and assists in achieving social objectives like improved living standards and education.
Singapore's infrastructural development has been monitored and controlled by Government agencies. The Government Concept Plan was first developed in 1971. It was fine tuned later to formulate “A Ring Concept". High density satellite towns were linked to the Central Business District through expressways and a rail system. The government followed it by the way of slum clearance and massive public housing project.
Two of the most challenging concern for the Government after independence, were unemployment and inadequate public housing. Two agencies The Housing and Development Board (HDB) and the Economic Development Board (EDB) were given the responsibility to solve the problem. Land being scarce in Singapore, Housing and Housing Finance were crucial for the State.
Technology and Infrastructure
Singapore's transformation from an underdeveloped trading post to one of the world's most advanced ports was due to the development of modern infrastructure and a rapid adoption of technology. Singapore is well connected to the world by the way of top class airport, port and telecommunication infrastructure.
Changi International Airport
Changi International Airport is Singapore's national airport and air cargo terminal. The success of Changi International Airport has put Singapore on the map as a regional aviation and air cargo hub. It caters to 80 airlines serving more than 180 cities in over 50 countries. The three terminals at Changi Airport together can handle 70 million passengers a year. Since it commenced operation in 1981, it has won more than 250 awards.
The Changi Airfreight Centre (CAC) located at the Northern end of the airport is a 24 hour one stop service centre to airlines, cargo agents, shippers and consignees. The CAC is operated as a Free Trade Zone (FTZ), where cargo is easily moved, consolidated, stored or repacked without the need for documentation or customs duties. According to estimates, it handled 1.86 million tons of cargo in 2008.
PSA Singapore Terminals
PSA Singapore Terminals is Singapore's port and the world's busiest transshipment hub. Because of Singapore's strategic location, it is also a regional centre for shipping activity.
PSA Singapore Terminals operates 4 container terminals and 2 multipurpose terminals in Singapore, connecting all kinds of vessels-including container ships, bulk carriers and cargo freights-to a network of 200 shipping lines with connections to 600 ports in 123 countries.
It takes care of about one fifth of the world's total container transshipment throughput. It handled 29 million twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers in 2008. It is also one of the world's largest refrigerated container (reefer) ports with over 5000 reefer points, handling more than a million reefers in 2008.
Singapore offers a world class telecommunications infrastructure and its efforts to bring every citizen to the information highway is taking shape. According to information released by Infocomm Development Authority, May 2009, Singapore is the most wired country in the world, with a household broadband penetration rate of 115.2%.
According to an assessment made by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Singapore ties with the US as the least expensive place in the world to make a phone call or surf the internet using a broadband connection.
All in all, Singapore’s extensive connectivity, coupled with a pro-business environment and legal and regulatory framework make the island an ideal e-commerce hub.