Singapore is rightly heralded as a beacon of economic success and one of the freest economies in the world today, placing near the top of economic freedom indexes. Sizing up to only about two-thirds of New York City, the country is but a speck on the world map. Casually referred to as a "Little Red Dot", this colloquial nickname for the prosperous city-state today is embraced by its own populace, despite its origins as a derogatory remark.
A look into the early development of Singapore unveils its steep and robust foundations in free trade.
The case of Singapore is strong evidence for how tightly economic prosperity is tied to a high degree of freedom to trade.
In 1971, when the British yanked their safety net out from under Singapore in a bid to cut their own spending, Singapore's early government jolted into action. With a realistic understanding of their lack of natural resources and space limitations, the early leaders of post-independence Singapore embarked on a strong, export-led, market-oriented economic path.