Penang's economic fate: A tale of three cities


CHARLES DICKENS ASIDE, there was another A Tale of Two Cities told by Alwyn Young, about economic growth in Singapore and Hong Kong. They are two of four Asian tigers (the other two being South Korea and Taiwan) —newly industrialised economies or NIES that recorded the highest rate of growth per capita in the world from 1960 to 1985.

Singapore and Hong Kong were British colonies that had similarities in economic structures and institutions. They are open economies that depend highly on commerce and external trade. They are island states that have almost no agriculture, with comparable per capita incomes in 1960 and 1990, suggesting that economic growth was about the same rates.

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