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SINGAPORE ENGAGES THE BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE: PERCEPTIONS, POLICIES, AND INSTITUTIONS

Hong Liu, Xin Fan and Guanie Lim
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Hong Liu: School of Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Xin Fan: School of Humanities, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Guanie Lim: Nanyang Centre for Public Administration, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

The Singapore Economic Review (SER), 2021, vol. 66, issue 01, 219-241

Abstract: This article argues that Singapore, courtesy of its strong state capacity and long-standing connections with China, has promoted effective polices and coordinated mutually reinforcing institutional mechanisms in engaging with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). While some of these institutions predate the BRI, they have been continuously enhanced or modified to meaningfully foster Singapore-China cooperation. In certain cases, new institutions have been created to fulfill specific demands the existing institutions cannot adequately serve. These two types of institutions not only complement each other but also promote cooperation between the bureaucrats, politicians, transnational corporations, government-linked corporations, small- and medium-sized private firms and business associations. The article also illustrates the flexibility of the ‘networked state’ in formulating collaborative ties linking key international and domestic actors, demonstrating how a small state like Singapore can partner China effectively and deepen its strategic importance to the BRI to enhance its own strategic and economic interests. Lastly, the article highlights the two key conditions in BRI-related nations for their successful engagement: the existence of mutual interests between China and a counterpart nation bolstered by conducive perceptions and policies, and the institutionalization of competent mechanisms to materialize and operationalize these interests.

Keywords: Belt and road initiative; state-business relations; transnational state; state capacity; China; Singapore (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1142/S0217590820410015

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